Zimbabwe may give mines more time on ownership plans


Zimbabwe may give foreign miners more time to submit plans to transfer majority stakes to local black investors, the state-run Herald newspaper said.

Firms such Zimplats, the local unit of South Africa’s Impala Platinum have asked for an extension of the deadline to submit empowerment plans, the paper said.
“Our teams are now working with some mining companies that have asked for more time to work on their new proposals and we will keep the public updated on the developments,” Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told the Herald, Reuters reports.

The paper said Zimplats was working on a proposal to submit by the end of November, two months past the original deadline to transfer majority stakes.
“It appears that the timeframe that Zimplats was given to amend its proposal was short and the company has now requested for about two months to work on another proposal,” said the paper, which is widely seen as an official government mouthpiece.
“A new proposal would be submitted to government before the end of November. The new plan will have an element of the community share ownership trust,” Zimplats deputy chairman Much Masunda was quoted as saying.

Implats’ shares fell more than three percent on Thursday on reports the government was moving to revoke Zimplats’ licence. The shares recouped about two percent on Friday morning, outpacing a 0.25 percent rise on the blue-chip top 40 index.

Zimplats’ accounts for about 10 percent of Implats’ annual group output of close to 1.8 million ounces of platinum.