Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Platinum miners tumble as Zimbabwe turns up the heat

Platinum miners tumble as Zimbabwe turns up heat

Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:15am EDT

* Zimbabwe gives miners 6 months to sell majority stakes

* Platinum shares tumble

* Mugabe not backing down on company seizures

By Ed Stoddard

JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Reuters) – Shares in South Africa-listed platinum 
miners tumbled on Monday as neighbouring Zimbabwe turned up the heat on 
foreign mining firms and gave them six months to sell majority stakes to 
local black investors.

Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J), the world’s second-largest producer of the 
precious metal which has Zimbabwe operations, fell over 5 percent at one 
point to a 10-day low and was trading 3.55 percent lower at 190.56 rand at 
1030 GMT.

Foreign mining firms in Zimbabwe must sell a majority stake to local black 
investors within six months, according to a release in the Government 
Gazette on Monday.

The release also said companies had 45 days in which to submit details of 
how they planned to transfer ownership.

London- and Johannesburg-listed Aquarius Platinum (AQP.L)(AQPJ.J) was down 
more than 5.5 percent, while Anglo Platinum (AMSJ.J), the world’s top 
producer, was down 1.90 percent at 666.44 rand.

Platinum XPT= was down just 0.77 percent, highlighting how jittery investors 
are about the risks of doing business in the region.

Platinum producers were down far more than the wider counters. 
Johannesburg’s broader mining index .JMINI eased 1.34 percent while the 
bourse’s All-share .JALSH was 0.79 percent lower at 31,346.01. “I think this 
is because of the Zimbabwean story,” said Abri du Plessis, chief investment 
officer at Gryphon Asset Management.

“That 51 percent that they want in local hands looks fairly fixed at this 
point in time so that’s basically driving the platinum down.”

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Sunday vowed his party would not back 
down from its controversial drive to force foreign-owned companies to sell 
majority shareholdings to local blacks.


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