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As Kamativi Tin Mine re-opens, Mugabe rejects Chinese bid for 65% stake in $100 million deal
06/12/2016 00:00:00
by Parliamentary Correspondent
 
 
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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe refused to bend the indigenisation policy in favour of the Chinese who wanted a 65 percent stake at the Kamativi Tin Mine, minister Walter Chidhakwa has revealed.

Appearing before the MPs on Monday, the minister of mines said Kamativi Mine is now set to re-open after the Chinese finally dropped their demands and agreed to finance the deal to the tune of $100 million.

Chidhakwa revealed that the joint venture was delayed by the Chinese who wanted a waiver of the indigenisation policy which stipulates that any foreigner can only have a maximum of 49 percent stake in any business.

“The negotiations had been stuck over the indigenization policy as Chinese government wanted 65 percent equity and I discussed the Chinese proposal with President Robert Mugabe and he refused to change the indigenisation policy in their favour and said we must implement the 51percent to 49 percent which they have agreed to,” he said.

The mine, which employed 800 people in its heyday, is regarded as one of the largest tin mines in the country with approximately 100 million tonnes in tin reserves. A tonne of tin fetches between $17 000 and $22 000 on the global market.

Chidhakwa said Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has since started working with Beijing Pichang on preliminary processes paving way for the re-launch of mining activities.

“The technical committee from Zimbabwe and China governments are tasked with finalizing the business transactions starting with the clean-up of the mine which has started,” Chidhakwa told the Mines Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.

He added, “There are technical teams of geologists and metallurgists from China and Zimbabwe that are on the ground working on the modalities and feasibility studies. The Chinese government has, so far, released $1 million to the team to carry out their work.”

Apart from extracting tin, lithium, tantalite, beryl, copper and beryllium, the venture provides for the construction of a refinery at the mining site.

Situated in Matabeleland north province, Kamativi minerals have been out of circulation for about two decades since operations succumbed to uncompetitive tin prices in 1994.

Government had pegged the capital injection needed to re-open it at between $35 million and $50 million.



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