Zimbabwe Plans New Law to Boost Mine Industry Development

The government of Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, is planning a new mine law that may compel companies to use exploration concessions or face losing them and will determine how much miners pay to use land.

The new act will include “a whole range of things” including a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy and rules to ensure value is added to Zimbabwe’s minerals before they are exported, Walter Chidakwa, the country’s mines minister, said by phone from Johannesburg yesterday.

“We thought we would do an amendment to the mining law, but we realized that we need to do a complete review to the entire law, because of the magnitude of the changes that are required,” Chidakwa said. “We are nearly there.” He plans to present the new law to cabinet in the first quarter.

Besides platinum and chrome deposits, Zimbabwe has reserves of minerals ranging from coal and iron ore to gold. Investment has been inhibited by a law compelling foreign and white-owned companies to sell or cede 51 percent of their local assets to black Zimbabweans or the southern African nation’s government.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Anglo American Plc’s platinum unit are among companies that operate in the country. The nation will produce about 365,000 ounces of platinum as well as metals found in the ore alongside the metal this year, according to the country’s Chamber of Mines.

Chidakwa was appointed after President Robert Mugabe won July elections to extend his 33-year reign, ending a coalition government with the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

Platinum for immediate delivery rose for the first time in three days, increasing 0.3 percent to $1,395.85 an ounce by 2:06 p.m. in London.

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