Harare/Johannesburg - Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP],
the world's second-largest platinum producer, said on Wednesday that it would
not exit Zimbabwe despite the demands being made by the government that it hand
over majority stakes in its local operations to Zimbabweans.
Implats CEO David Brown told private radio
station 702 Talk Radio the company still saw the southern African nation as a
"good investment destination".
"There's huge expansion potential ... but we need
certainty," he said.
Zimbabwe, which holds the world's second-largest platinum group metal (PGM)
deposits after South Africa, is crucial to the future of the platinum industry
because of its massive resources.
But platinum companies, as Zimbabwe's largest investors, are
being targeted in the government's drive to get all outside companies to hand
over 51% stakes in their mines.
Implats has offered to hand over between 25% and 30% in
equity and make up the balance through credits it hoped to receive in exchange
for giving up some of its land five years ago.
But the minister in charge of Zimbabwe's black empowerment
drive, Saviour Kasukuwere, has rejected part of Implats' proposal and has given
the company until Wednesday next week to hand over 29.5% of its Zimplats
"The problem with Brown is that he talks too much. We
are sick and tired of his delaying tactics," Kasukuwere told Reuters.
Kasukuwere has previously threatened to cancel the mining
licences of non-compliant firms.