Draft bill says list in Harare if you want to mine in Zimbabwe
A draft of Zimbabwe’s long-awaited mining and minerals bill was published on Friday and apart from wide-ranging proposals on indigenization, land rights, local content, licensing and benificiation, a new proposal is likely to add to the challenges facing foreign miners operating in the country.
A report by Reuters over the weekend says the draft bill, which has been more than a decade in the making, includes a provision that authorities will only issue mining rights to companies listed on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.
None of the major miners operating in the country – primarily platinum group metals companies – including Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum through its Zimplats subsidiary and Aquarius Platinum are listed in Harare. Foreign companies are also required to sell at least 51% to local investors under the country’s indigenization laws.
The XSE currently hosts four mining companies – RioZim, a gold, coal and nickel company, Falcon Gold, Hwange Colliery and Bindura Nickel. Australia’s Rio Tinto last year sold its remaining stake in RioZim’s diamond and coal operations.
The Zimbabwe government earlier this year revoked the licences of all diamond mining companies operating inside the country and consolidated diamond mining in the country’s rich Marange fields under a state-owned entity. Harare has also ordered foreign miners to return mineral leases which the state says is not being developed at a fast enough pace.
In addition, the southern African nation is taking a page from Indonesia and other Asian mineral exporters to restrict the export of unprocessed ore and concentrates without ministerial approval according to Reuters:
“Minerals like gold and silver would only be exported in refined form as Zimbabwe seeks to get more local involvement and jobs from the mining sector.
“Zimbabwe introduced a platinum export tax in January last year but suspended it seven months later after mining companies, including Amplats, Implats and Aquarius, agreed to support local metal processing.”
Zimbabwe produces around 8.5% of the world’s platinum, the world’s third largest producer behind South Africa and Russia. The company is the globe’s number four palladium miner behind Canada.