Friday, July 03, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) Govt shelves mining bill

Govt shelves mining bill
Ralph Mutema
Fri, 03 Jul 2009 09:15:00 +0000

GOVERNMENT has shelved the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which demanded foreign owned mines to cede 51% of their shareholding to locals as it seeks to lure external investors.

Informed sources yesterday said government had withdrawn the Bill which was analysts say would have scared away foreign investors in the mining and minerals sector.

The government will also be holding its first international investment conference in a bid to lure investors into the country.

The conference will discuss investment opportunities in key sectors of the Zimbabwean economy: mining, agriculture, infrastructure development and tourism.

The Bill sought to transfer a majority stake to locals, including giving the Zimbabwe government a 25% stake.

President Robert Mugabe had said the State would nationalise all 500 of the country's mines.

He said at the time, the government "would broaden participation in the sector by indigenous players".

Mining firms and analysts had expressed concern thar the legislation would hurt the mining sector, one of the country's leading foreign currency earners.

Foreign firms that would have been affected include the world's second biggest platinum producer, Impala Platinum, which has widespread operations in Zimbabwe. Rio Tinto which has diamond interests and the world's top platinum producer, Anglo Platinum, which is developing a mine in the country and South Africa's Metallon Gold.

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