WORLD number two platinum miner Impala Platinum Mine (Implats) says its growth in output is likely to come from its Zimbabwe operations in the years leading up to the 2008 financial year.
In Zimbabwe, Implats has a 82,5% stake in the Zimbabwe Platinum Mine (Zimplats) and a 50% stake in Mimosa Mine.
Implats chief executive officer Keith Rumble last week told investors that Zimplats was expected to be Implats’ key source of output expansion in the future.
He said the funds for Zimplats’ infrastructure had been approved.
Rumble said Implats was awaiting government approval for amendments to a special mining licence which incorporates Zimbabwean indigenisation requirements.
According to the Mines and Mineral Amendment Bill 2004 expected to be tabled in parliament, a 49% stake should be reserved for Zimbabweans.
However, it is understood that the Chamber of Mines has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to reduce the proposed 49% equity set aside for indigenous Zimbabweans in mines owned by foreign companies to 40% over eight years.
In South Africa, the revised empowerment mining legislation requires that 15% shareholding be taken by indigenous people within five years and the rest 26% within the following 10 years.
A 15% empowerment portionset aside by Zimplats was recent-ly snapped up by Nkululeko Rusununguko Mining Company (NRMC) ahead of Needgate and its Grassroots partners.