Zimbabwe Deciding How to Structure Mine Funding Bond

Zimbabwe’s government is determining how to structure the sale of the country’s first international bond and is seeking advisers as it aims to raise financing to fund mining development, Walter Chidakwa, the country’s mines minister, said.

Chidakwa said he will meet with Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa to discuss the plan ahead of the release of the country’s budget, scheduled for next month.

“We haven’t worked out how much we are going to raise and who is actually going to work in putting together the bond,” Chidakwa said in an Oct. 26 interview at Mimosa platinum mine near Zvishavane, 299 kilometers (186 miles) southwest of the capital, Harare.

On Oct. 10 Chidakwa told an industrial conference in Bulawayo, the country’s second-biggest city, that the government was considering a bond sale to create a fund to finance mining. The government of Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves, is compelling mining companies to sell or cede 51 percent of their local assets to black citizens of the country or the state.

Companies including Rio Tinto Plc (RIO), Mwana Africa Plc (MWA) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) dig minerals and metals ranging from diamonds to gold and platinum in Zimbabwe. Mimosa is an equally owned venture between South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP)

The platinum industry needs as much as $5.3 billion if it is to expand to produce more than 500,000 ounces of the metal and to construct precious and base metal refineries, the Platinum Produces Committee said in a report this month. Production is forecast at 365,000 ounces this year, according to the group, which represents Impala, Anglo American Platinum and Aquarius.

Chidakwa declined to comment further on the planned bond.

To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Harare at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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