Aquarius, Impala Slide as Zimbabwe Accepts Control of Mimosa

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) dropped the most in a month in London and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) fell in Johannesburg as Zimbabwe accepted a proposal to hand control of their Mimosa mine to the state, locals and workers.

Aquarius slid 6.7 percent to 149 pence by the close in London, the biggest drop since Feb. 24, and Impala sank 0.4 percent. “They have submitted a compliant 51 percent plan,” Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said. “It has since been submitted to the ministry which has been accepted.”

Zimbabwe, with the largest platinum reserves after South Africa, last month gave the two deadlines to comply with a law, published in a government gazette two years ago, demanding they cede 51 percent of Mimosa as well as Impala’s Zimplats unit. This month Impala agreed in principle to sell 51 percent of Zimplats at a price that hasn’t yet been decided.

Under the Mimosa proposals, 10 percent will go to the local community, 10 percent to employees, 6 percent to the Public Service Commission and the rest to the National Indigenization Economic and Empowerment Board, Kasukuwere said.

Mimosa is on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke east of Bulawayo and in the year through June 30, 2010, produced 101,200 ounces of platinum in concentrate. The mine is owned by Mimosa Investments Ltd., a Mauritius-based company held by Impala and Aquarius.

Aquarius will make an announcement when it gets a formal response from the government, Gavin Mackay, the miner’s business development director, said by mobile phone from London today.

Bob Gilmour, a spokesman for Impala, didn’t immediately respond to messages left on his office phone by Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporters on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net; Carli Cooke in Johannesburg at clourens@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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