Impala Signs Terms for Sale of Zimbabwe Unit to Black Citizens

Impala Platinum Ltd. (IMP) signed a term sheet to sell a controlling stake in its Zimbabwean platinum unit under a law to hand ownership to black citizens.

The term sheet stipulates a payment of $971 million with equity ownership going to a select number of indigenous groups, Impala’s Zimplats Holdings Ltd. (ZIM) said today in a statement. Zimplats will facilitate the transaction by providing vendor funding at an interest rate of 10 percent annually.

Zimbabwe has been pushing companies to meet a 2010 law obligating operators to sell 51 percent of domestic mines to black locals or a state-owned fund. Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) last month said it would sell 51 percent of its holding in Mimosa, a platinum venture in which it is an equal partner with Impala, for $550 million.

Zimplats will continue to manage the mines in the country, while the indigenous groups will be able to appoint board directors.

Zimplats produced 187,100 ounces (5,304 kilograms) of platinum in fiscal 2012 from three underground operations, according to its parent company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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