Bloomberg News

Impala’s Zimbabwe Unit Proposes New Plan to Sell Majority Stake

September 12, 2011

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.’s Zimbabwean unit, in a dispute with the government over a law to increase black ownership of the nation’s mining industry, said it will submit a new proposal to sell a majority stake in the company by November.

“A proposal was made and it’s all part of negotiations with the government,” Muchadeyi Masunda, deputy chairman of Zimplats Holdings Ltd., said by phone today from the capital, Harare. “I am not aware of any violent objections to it.”

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum and chrome after South Africa, ruled all foreign or white-owned companies must submit plans to sell 51 percent of their local assets to black Zimbabweans by Sept. 25.

The first proposal by Zimplats, a unit of the world’s second-largest platinum producer, failed to meet the ownership laws and may result in the company having its mining license revoked, Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said on Sept. 7.

Impala, based in Johannesburg, is the biggest investor in Zimbabwe’s mining industry and could invest as much as $10 billion increasing production, Chief Executive Officer David Brown said on Aug. 25. Selling 51 percent of Zimplats “just does not work,” he said on Aug. 26.

--Editors: Alastair Reed, Antony Sguazzin.

To contact the reporters on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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