Miners in Zimbabwe who don’t submit an approved plan by Sept. 30 on how they will meet local ownership laws will see the government “kick them out,” said Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukwere.
The government has rejected 175 proposals from companies on how they will comply with the legislation, Kasukwere said in the capital Harare today. Units of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP), Aquarius Platinum Ltd., Rio Tinto Plc and Anglo-American Plc. are among companies mining in the country.
Zimbabwe’s new Indigenization and Empowerment Act gave foreign and white-owned mines until June 2 to show how they would cede or sell 51 percent of their companies to black Zimbabweans or “state entities.” The law doesn’t make it clear what a state entity is, or how payment would be made to companies whose assets are acquired.
Kasukuwere said June 27 that all foreign miners had submitted plans, adding that they “fell short” of government expectations.
Mwana Africa Plc. and closely held Metallon Corp. also operate in the country, which has the world’s second-biggest reserves of platinum and ferrochrome after South Africa.
Gold, nickel, diamonds, coal and emeralds are also mined in the southern African nation, where political conflict led to economic recession between 1998 and early 2009.
Harare-based RioZim Ltd., subject to the 51 percent law, said May 31 that foreign investors it had been courting to fund expansion by the gold, nickel and coal producer had withdrawn because of the ownership rules.
Bob Gilmore, a spokesman for Impala Platinum in Johannesburg, said he was unable to comment immediately on the the minister’s comments.
Calls to Pranhill Ramchander, an Anglo American spokesman in Johannesburg, weren’t immediately answered. Tony Shaffer, a spokesman for Rio Tinto, also didn’t immediately answer calls to his office or mobile phones in London.