Implats awaits outcome of Zim BEE deadlock

Zimbabwe is set to announce the fate of Impala Platinum’s shareholding in its local unit after latest talks on black ownership ended in a deadlock, the Herald newspaper said on Wednesday.

The government wants Implats, the world’s second-largest platinum producer, to hand a majority stake in its local operation Zimplats to Zimbabweans and transfer 29.5% of its shares to a state-run fund.

The state newspaper said on Tuesday the government had met Zimplats officials last week but the meeting ended without an agreement.

“It [the meeting] ended in a deadlock. The Zimplats issue will be tackled, there are no two ways about it,” the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, all members from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF, would now meet on Wednesday and announce a decision on Zimplats, the Herald said.

Implats has offered 5% to workers and 6.5% to the state-run fund, in addition to the 10% it handed to local communities last year. It plans to make up the balance through empowerment credits from giving up some of its claims in 2006.

Kasukuwere has rejected parts of the proposal and said last week he would not talk to Implats unless the company fully complied with the empowerment law. — Reuters

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