Anglo American Platinum cedes majority stake in mine to locals

Ceding to Zimbabwe government's pressure, Anglo American Platinum Ltd yesterday agreed to part with a majority stake in the Unki mine to domestic groups and other investors in order to comply with the country's new ownership laws.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd, a subsidiary of London-based diversified miner Anglo American, will sell 51 per cent of its Unki mine for $142.8 million. The government has valued Unki mine at $592 million.

The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board will now hold 21 per cent stake, workers will get 10 per cent, the local community 10 per cent, a consortium of local investors 10 per cent, and the remaining 49 per cent will be held by Anglo American Platinum.

The new shareholders will not pay any money for the stake they will receive, but Unki will issue shares to the new shareholders under a 10-year loan, and finance the entire $142.8 million, which would be repaid by new shareholders by waiving their rights to dividends until the loan period.

Earlier this year, Impala Platinum had surrendered a 51 per cent stake in its Zimplats unit to local black investors, and the Zimbabwean government is pressurising other overseas firms to surrender majority stakes in their local operations to local investors.

Zimbabwe enacted the indigenisation law in 2008 in order to empower the local people who were subject to racial inequities by the earlier colonial rulers.

The Unki platinum mine is a 120,000 tonne-per-month operation, which has a newly established 120,000 tonne per month concentrator plant.
Anglo American Platinum expects the life-of-mine to extend to 2038, at an average extraction rate of 175,000 4E ounces per year. It has a mineral resource reserves of 10.5 4E million ounces and ore Reserve of 4.7 4E million ounces.