Zimbabwe to seize idle land from mining company

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government will seize nearly 28 hectares of land leased by platinum miner Zimplats, in a fresh drive to re-allocate assets to local business, the mining minister said Tuesday.

"My ministry is taking a forward step to repossess from Zimplats land measuring 27,948 hectares," Obert Mpofu told journalists.

"The ministry will exercise its prerogative to ensure that all idle ground is repossessed and reallocated to other investors."

Mpofu said the repossession would "invigorate the mining industry." Zimbabwe, which is recovering from a decade of economic malaise, has passed strict regulations for international firms operating in the country.

One of them is a controversial indigenisation law, which forces foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent of their assets to black Zimbabweans.

Last month Impala Platinum (Implats) sealed a deal to sell a 51-percent stake in its company Zimplats, under the 2010 law signed by President Robert Mugabe.

The deal will see Impala get $971 million (731 million euro) making it one of the largest empowerment transactions in Zimbabwe to date.

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