Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zim investments will be respected if they are fair says MDC

from MINING WEEKLY via GeostrategyBlog:

Zimbabwe has the second-largest platinum resource in the world, and a host of other metals and minerals, which makes South Africa’s troubled neighbour an attractive mining destination.

Some, like the world’s second-largest platinum company, Impala Platinum, of Johannesburg, and junior Aquarius Platinum, which is listed in Johannesburg and Australia, grasped the Zimbabwe nettle years ago and had been reaping rich rewards until recently, when the platinum price collapsed.

Others, like platinum and chrome explorer Kameni, are very recent entrants, and then there are still others, like South Africa’s black-owned African Rainbow Minerals, that make no bones about being attracted by Zimbabwe’s prospectivity, have still not made any investment announcements and are presumably awaiting a globally acceptable political settlement, which several politicians, analysts and corporations believe may be only a stone’s throw away.

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, which is the frontrunning political entity that holds a key to a possible acceptable political outcome, has been vocal about mining companies investing in Zimbabwe.

The Johannesburg-based MDC treasurer-general, Roy Bennett, suggests that any new Zimbabwe government would need to scrutinise the mining investments that have been made to ensure that they are all able to withstand the full glare of the most rigorous of modern-day corporate-governance scrutiny....

Impala Platinum CEO David Brown is invariably open to media questioning at results presentations and has engaged in transparent transactions and ‘indigenisation’, the Zimbabwe equivalent of South Africa’s black economic-empowerment policy.

Brown has expressed parti- cular concern about the obli- gation that Impala Platinum has in Zimbabwe to continue to provide the employment that its activities at its 87%-owned Zimplats and Mimosa offer to the suffering people of Zimbabwe.

Brown is on record as praising the diligence and can-do approach of the employees of Zimplats and Mimosa, a view often also expressed by Aquarius Platinum CEO Stuart Murray.

Aquarius is also a shareholding in the Mimosa mine and there have been occasions where quarterly results have shown the high productivity levels that the Zimbabwe workforce is able to achieve.

Carroll says that Anglo American is still developing the infrastructure, roads and water supply at Unki, and, if the poli- tical environment improves, expects to break ground and start producing platinum in 2010.

“It’s a very big orebody. We have to keep investing to hold onto it. ...

more details at link

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