Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, may lift a requirement that companies mining the metal or diamonds must be at least 51 percent owned by black citizens of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa, who became president in November after Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, has announced that the ownership requirement on all other minerals will be abolished. The government needs to assess its platinum and diamond industries more carefully, he said.
“I only excluded diamonds and platinum for now. We do not have a real or deep-rooted or well-interrogated policy on diamonds or platinum,” the 75-year-old president said in an interview in his office in the capital, Harare, last week. “Down the line when we are satisfied that this can also go into the open basket we will do so.”
Platinum and diamonds are key exports for an economy that has halved in size since 2000 after a land-reform program slashed shipments of crops such as tobacco, corn and roses.
While the world’s two biggest platinum companies, South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., operate mines in Zimbabwe, they have slowed investment plans because of concern over the ownership law.
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