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29 Feb 2012 14:10
A Zimbabwean minister launched a verbal attack on Impala Platinum CEO David Brown, saying on Wednesday he was “sick and tired” of the mining group’s failure to comply with local black ownership laws.
“The problem with Brown is that he talks too much. We are sick and tired of his delaying tactics,” Saviour Kasukuwere, the minister in charge of Zimbabwe’s black empowerment drive, told Reuters.
Implats is the biggest foreign investor in Zimbabwe’s mining sector and has become the prime target of a government drive to get all outside companies to hand over majority stakes in their local operations to black Zimbabwean investors.
Brown has been seeking talks with Harare but told Reuters he was still in South Africa, where he is dealing with a strike at the company’s Rustenburg mine that has cost it R2-billion in lost output.
“We can only engage him if he comes here to implement the law,” Kasukuwere, a member of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, said.
This weekend, Harare gave Implats two weeks to surrender 29.5% of its Zimplats unit to a state-run fund and threatened unspecified sanctions if it did not comply.
Kasukuwere has previously threatened to cancel the mining licences of non-compliant firms.—Reuters
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