Mar 07, 2019

Changes in Zimbabwe’s Mining Rules in the Offing to Allow 100% Foreign Ownership of Companies

According to media reports, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has said that the policy which requires platinum mines to be run by companies with local majority  ownership, will soon be scrapped and foreign entities will be allowed to hold 100% stake in such companies. The Government of Zimbabwe is planning to change the rules  in order to revive investment in its mining sector, which had fallen substantially in the last few years, as a result of the country’s policy.

“We are removing that indigenisation rule, which is discouraging foreign direct investment,” Ncube said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Washington.

In a separate but parallel interview, Mines Minister Winston Chitando is reported  to have stated that the “new rules could be extended to diamond mining”.

The rule for majority local ownership was introduced by former President Robert Mugabe and was widely seen to have negatively impacted the African country’s ability to attract foreign investment, and hence on its overall economy too.

The current President Emmerson Mnangagwa is now keen to revive the mining sector and increase foreign investment in the country.

Zimbabwe is a mineral rich country – with reportedly the second largest deposits of the platinum group metals, and  significant deposits of deposits of gold, diamonds, lithium, iron ore, coal, chrome and nickel. It now hopes to be able to exploit its resources for the growth and development of its economy.

Important players in the platinum and diamond sector are awaiting the final promulgation of the new rules, which need to be passed by parliament, reports say.