Picture: 123RF/ERLLRE
Picture: 123RF/ERLLRE

Zimbabwe wants mining companies operating in the country to list the majority of their shares on the local exchange as the country with the world’s biggest platinum reserves after SA looks to boost investment.

"No mining right or title shall be granted or issued to a public company unless the majority of its shares are listed on a securities exchange in Zimbabwe," the government said in the mines and minerals bill before parliament, received by e-mail Thursday.

Companies seeking mining rights and which are already listed on a bourse outside the country must notify the mines minister, and 85% of the funds from the local listing must be used exclusively to develop the local right, it said.

Platinum and diamonds are key exports for an economy that has halved since 2000 after a chaotic and violent land-reform programme slashed shipments of tobacco, corn and roses. Zimbabwe also holds substantial deposits of gold, chrome, lithium, coal and iron ore.

The state is courting mining companies to participate in the industry and help boost the ailing economy after President Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced former long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in November.

Platinum producers including Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum slowed production as Zimbabwe’s economy grew more troubled and access to foreign currency dried up. Companies mining platinum and diamonds are already subject to 51% local ownership.

"The minister shall be entitled to cancel any mining right or title once it is proven that any person has falsified information," the bill said. Anyone who fails to comply will be "liable to a fine equivalent to 100% of cash raised at the foreign listing or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both."