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Zim government reposses Zimplats' land

Feb 13 2013 10:01 Malcolm Sharara, Fin24's correspondent in Zimbabwe


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Harare - The Zimbabwean government has with immediate effect repossessed excess ground from Zimplats measuring 27 948 hectares, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has said.

At a press conference held yesterday, Mpofu said as the sole regulator and promoter of the mining industry in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05), the ministry is focusing on the creation of real opportunities and investment space by making more land available for new investments, attracting new players into the industry and acting on excess and utilised ground.

Mpofu said this will be made possible through reviewing all mining rights deemed to be in excess.

Zimplats was granted a Special Mining Lease in 1994 covering 25 years, but geological information indicates that the total ground granted and the mineral endowment therein has a lifespan far exceeding the prescribed period, which period is in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act.

Mpofu argued Zimplats occupies two thirds of the Great Dyke and could only finish exploiting the platinum deposits in 300 years.

“If we give all that away to one person then that person is Zimbabwe,” he said.

“They are currently using one twentieth of their claims.”

He said this was in line with the cancellation of EPOs that the ministry is currently undertaking as a way of stopping speculative behaviour.

“This is one move among other strategies expected to invigorate the mining industry to achieve its envisaged targets of creating employment, achieving increased mineral output and increased revenue injections.”

He said the ministry will exercise its prerogative to ensure that all idle ground is repossessed and re-allocated to other investors.

The exercise will spread to all sectors and sub-sectors within the mining industry to encourage expected high levels of mineral productivity.

The development, observers say, is an indication of policy inconsistency and bad governance-a major reason deterring foreign investment inflow.

Mpofu said the ministry had designed practical measures aimed at enhancing value addition locally and bringing closure to the continued export of semi-processed platinum products.

“For some time, the country has not realised significant value from the platinum sector beyond the traditional statutory payments. Consequently the ministry has decided that beyond two years, it will stop processing exports for semi-processed platinum products.”

 - Fin24

 

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