Zimbabwe will seize control of foreign-owned platinum mines in the country without paying for them, a government minister has said.
6 AUGUST 2013 Platinum Today
Saviour Kasukuwere, the minister in charge of the government’s indigenisation policy, said Zimbabwe “will not pay for her resources”, according to Bloomberg.
“If they don’t want to follow the law that’s their problem,” he added, explaining that non-compliant mine owners could lose their licence.
Robert Mugabe, who controversially won bitterly contested elections this week, had already indicated earlier this year that the government may simply take ownership of mines.
Originally, the government had said it would finance the indigenisation policy, which forces foreign mine owners to hand over a 51% equity stake in their operations to local black investors, by paying for shares.
Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, the world’s two largest producers of the metal, both have operations in Zimbabwe.
“We want to welcome investors, as long as it’s in partnership with our people,” added Kasukuwere. “It’s a logical economic plan that has been put forward by our party for Zimbabweans to achieve greater benefits from their resources. Forty-nine percent is a huge part of the cake.”
Markets greeted Mugabe’s victory with consternation. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchanged plunged 11% on Monday, the first day of trading after victory was confirmed for the president, while the mining index slipped two per cent.