Zimbabwe to allow foreign firms to own mines again

Finance Minister Ncube

Zimbabwe will repeal the laws that saw foreigners driven from diamonds and platinum mines ownership. While talking to Bloomberg in an interview, the Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said foreign investors will be allowed to invest in mining firms and own 100 percent shares as the Southern Africa nation seeks to revive foreign investments.

Zimbabwe had implemented a policy that required all mines to transfer 51 percent of ownership to locals, leading to the ouster of foreign investors during the reign of Robert Mugabe. It was among sweeping policies that saw locals take over mines, businesses, and farms that were owned by white settlers leading to economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. The rules will now be scrapped.

Renewal of Zimbabwe sanctions

“We are removing that indigenization rule, which is discouraging foreign direct investment. We say Zimbabwe is open for business; you can only be open if you allow ownership of 100 percent,” Ncube said. Investments in mining and other industries was affected when President Mugabe introduced the policies, a major factor in the collapse of the once promising Zimbabwe economy. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is rescinding some of the policies in a bid to attract foreign investments as well as try to get sanctions removed. The Trump government and the European Union recently renewed sanctions against Zimbabwe in a move criticised by the Mnangagwa leadership.

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The government will need the support of parliament to change the rules. Foreign investment mining firms such as Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd, Anglo-American Platinum Ltd, and Russian company Alrosa PJSC are all interested in seeing the outcome of the parliamentary ratification process as they seek to reenter the world’s second largest producer of platinum metals that include gold, diamonds, lithium, iron ore, coal, chrome and nickel.

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