S Africa's Impala Platinum sells stake in Zimbabwean subsidiary to locals for $971 mn

The world's second-largest platinum miner, South Africa's Impala Platinum Holding Ltd (Implats) said Friday that its subsidiary Zimplats Holdings Ltd has executed a non-binding agreement with the government of Zimbabwe regarding proposed indigenisation of its platinum mines in the country.

Under the terms, Zimplats Holdings, which is 87 per cent owned by Implats, will sell 51 per cent of ownership of Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Pvt Ltd to select local entities for approximately $971 million (8.3 billion rands).

Zimplats will retain the balance 49 per cent in the Zimbabwean mines. Management of the company will remain with the company.

The plan is in accordance  with the agreement reached between the company and the government of Zimbabwe in March 2012 on indigenisation of mining assets and subsequent discussions on the matter.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and his Zanu party are pushing forward the black empowerment policy under which foreign companies are compelled to cede a majority shareholding to black Zimbabwean groups.

Zimbabwe's empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said, "The transaction being concluded today is a flagship of the policy objectives of our government's empowerment of indigenous Zimbabweans."