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Zimplats dumps community share payment obligations?

by Staff reporter
30 Nov 2022 at 05:37hrs | Views
Despite notching up a record revenue of US$1.4 billion last year coupled with tax contributions and royalties totalling US$404,6 million, platinum mining giant Zimplats has been dragged to court for failing to meet its community share ownership obligations.

Zimplats enjoys the lion's share in extracting Zimbabwe's platinum reserves, the world's third largest after Russia and South Africa.

Zimplats deposits have contributed significantly to its South African majority shareholder Impala Platinum (Implats), accounting for more than 22% of Implats market value.

Tatenda Gwinji, chairperson of the Chegutu Rural District Council (CRDC), filed the lawsuit against Zimplats, claiming the mining company neglected its 10% community share ownership obligation, something he said was preventing the local community from benefiting from its natural resources.

Gwinji told ZimLive he could not pre-empt the matter before the courts, insisting "the question of the community shares in Zimplats needed to be finally resolved by the courts."

The lawsuit comes after the platinum mining company and some traditional leaders in Mashonaland West were accused August this year of conspiring to excuse Zimplats from paying community share ownership levies.

Gwinji, in a letter dated August 11 addressed to Zimplats Mhondoro Ngezi Chegutu Zvimba Community Trust (ZMNCZ) chairperson Chief Benhura, charged that attempts to make Zimplats cede payment of the mandatory fees illegally prejudiced local communities from benefiting from their natural resources.

A decade has passed since Zimplats signed off on the establishment of a community trust with a 10% stake in the company, which the miner has never honoured since inception by the then Robert Mugabe led government.

The government has been hesitant to intervene in the matter and has failed to put pressure on Zimplats to pay the community ownership shares, despite reports that some senior government officials are on the mining company's payroll to protect it from paying the levies.

Source - zimlive