HARARE — Aquarius Platinum, which jointly owns Mimosa Mines with Impala Platinum, is talking to the new Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema on its indigenisation deal, amid indications that the government wants to radically alter terms.
In December 2012, Mimosa concluded a non-binding term sheet in respect of proposed government indigenisation plan which mandates foreign companies to sale an aggregate equity of 51% to local groups.
However, last year the government indicated to Mimosa and other platinum mines that it was no longer supportive of the initial terms after dust was raised over another platinum deal involving the country’s largest mine Zimplats.
After last year’s elections, Saviour Kasukuwere who was the minister in charge of indigenisation when the initial terms were agreed, was reassigned and replaced by Nhema.
“Mimosa has had frequent interaction with the ministry, but to date no agreements or definitive terms have been agreed by Mimosa, or indeed any other platinum producer in Zimbabwe,” Aquarius Platinum chairman Nicholas Sibley said in a half year report for the six months to December 31 2013.
The government has said it would be flexible in applying the empowerment law and last year approved a plan for New Dawn Mining to sell 42% of its shares to indigenous groups instead of the mandatory 51%.
Production at Mimosa for the half-year increased by 2% to 1,255 million tonnes.
The cash margin for the period increased from 16% to 18% due to decreased costs and increased production but revenue decreased by 9% to $116 million due to depressed metal prices.
Mimosa recorded net profit before tax of $5 million for the period, lower than expected due to weaker dollar metal prices.
— The Source