Harare - Zimbabwe and mining firm Zimplats have yet to
settle the details of a deal in which the company is to cede a 51% stake to
local investors, a cabinet minister said Thursday.
"We agreed in principle but there must be an evaluation
of assets and resources," Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told journalists at an investment
conference in Harare.
"At the end of the day we want a win-win situation. We
are on track and on course on the realisation of the law. We want a fair share
of what belongs to us and discussions are ongoing at the moment."
Zimplats, the local unit of the world's second-largest
platinum producer Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP], reached a deal with the
Zimbabwe government that will see the company give 10% ownership to its
workers, another 10% to a community trust near its mine, and 31% to the
government's Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.
But under the controversial local ownership law championed
by long-ruling President Robert Mugabe, the government must pay for the shares
it receives - something the cash-strapped Treasury has not budgeted this year.
Impala said last week that the agreement only stipulated
"that the shares sales would be at appropriate value".
Two weeks ago the Zimbabwean government threatened to
nationalise Zimplats for non-compliance with the regulations.
The deal is being closely watched by other foreign
companies, including banks and retailers, as a bellwether of Zimbabwe's
investment climate and the security of their own operations.
Mugabe's partner in the unity government, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, has warned that the law passed two years ago would