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Zimplats May Face Nationalization, Zimbabwe's Herald Says

Zimbabwe Platinum Ltd., known as Zimplats, may face total nationalization if it doesn’t meet the government’s two-week deadline for agreement on the value of a stake in the company, the state-controlled Herald newspaper said in an editorial.

The Herald quoted an interview Zimplats Chairman David Brown gave to South Africa’s Mining Weekly magazine. Brown said the Zimbabwean government would have to pay for a 31 percent stake it is demanding in Zimplats, according to the Herald. Mining Weekly put the value at between $500,000 and $1 million.

“It is not clear whether Mr. Brown or his advisers have read the appropriate legislation that governs the evaluation process in Zimbabwe,” the Herald said in the editorial, adding that the value would be determined by the indigenization minister and the mining company, taking into account the “state’s sovereign ownership of the mineral.”

Neither Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere nor Mines Minister Obert Mpofu answered calls seeking comment today.

Brown met Kasukuwere last week in Harare to negotiate a transfer of shares to a national indigenization fund. The negotiations haven’t ended, Brown said after the meeting.

Zimplats is a unit of South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.

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