Implats Says Zimbabwe Seeks 50% of Unit Zimplats’ Mining Claims

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. said about 50 percent of its Zimbabwean unit’s mining claims would be seized by the nation’s government.

Implats and its Zimplats Holdings Ltd. unit “are taking legal advice in order to protect their rights and, in addition, remain in consultation with the relevant government authorities,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today.

The Zimbabwe government intends to “compulsorily acquire 27,948 hectares (69,061 acres) of land from the company to be used for the benefit of the public,” according to a decree in the March 1 Government Gazette.

Impala, which owned 87 percent of Zimplats and is the world’s biggest producer of the metal after Anglo American Platinum Ltd., signed the terms to sell 51 percent of the unit to the country’s black citizens in January. Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said on Feb. 12 the nation had seized some of Zimplats’ land and would offer it to new investors.

Zimbabwe has the largest known platinum and chrome reserves after South Africa.

Implats gained 2.2 percent to 134.96 rand by 11:36 a.m. in Johannesburg. The stock has declined 20 percent this year.

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