HomePoliticsZim in platinum promo

Bank deposits up but liquidity crunch persists

Chris Goko

ZIMBABWE’S central bank is next week expected to hold roadshows in South Africa to explain to platinum miners the essence of its enhanced platinum sector regime (EPSR) which comes into effec

t in February.

The campaign, which involves Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, will also see Zimbabwe trying to sell the idea of joint-venture projects between existing platinum group metals (PGM) processors and yet-to-be identified local part-ners.

It has been learnt that the team will try to market the idea of 50:50 joint ventures in which the country’s three platinum miners — Anglo American Corporation, Mimosa and Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) — will take on board emerging local consortiums in new projects.

Anglo, owners of the US$90 million Unki, and Impala Platinum Mine, which controls Zimplats, are the world’s leading platinum producers.

The expected roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town come at a time when Zimbabwean monetary authorities have announced that they want full beneficiation of the country’s US$300 billion PGM treasure — the second largest deposits in the world after South Africa.

Analysts said government’s anticipated explanation on EPSR and its implications for existing and future investment in PGM would greatly help allay fears of security of foreign investments in the country.

Under Gono’s new platinum measures, marketing of PGMs has been ceded to the state while miners’ offshore accounts have been abolished in return for “special local foreign currency accounts”.

The shock October announcement prompted platinum players to urgently tackle the government for further clarification on the issue.

Apart form that, PGM companies were also unnerved by the demand voiced by President Robert Mugabe and others that mining multinationals should give 49% of their investments to local empowerment groups.

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