African Global Capital keen to invest in mining
By Golden Sibanda
SOUTH Africa-based investment firm, African Global Capital, believes now is the time to invest in the local mining industry to avoid losing opportunities to suitors also eyeing the sector.
African Global Capital?s Ian Benning told Herald Business in an interview that although there still is some uncertainty over mining and empowerment legislation, there was no need to delay any investments.
"The uncertainty lies in delays in the finalisation of the legislation (the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act and amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act. What is not clear is what the legislations will say when they have been finalised.
"However, waiting for finalisation of the legislation means one stands to lose opportunities to other investors interested in mining," he said.
He said that against this background investors needed to weigh the risk and benefits of investing in the local economy as things stand.
Mr Benning was part of the 11-member delegation from South Africa that visited the country last week to scout for opportunities in mining.
African Global Capital has mining interests in Chad, Niger, the Democractic Republic of Congo, Angola and South Africa.
The delegation last week met the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu and the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mr Benning had earlier said investors had reservations over investing in Zimbabwe on the impression that locals would gain automatic shareholding in foreign firms for free.
However, Minister Kasukuwere clarified the grey area explaining that locals would contribute a fair value to acquire any shareholding in any foreign firm or joint venture with foreigners.
Minister Kasukuwere also highlighted that the Government was prepared to allow foreign investors a reasonable time to comply with the country?s indigenisation and empowerment law.
African Global Capital also indicated investor concerns centred on controlling power in mining ventures as conglomerates preferred swaying influence in most investments.
This, said African Global Capital, is critical as it allows the conglomerate to determine strategies and direction the company would take.
There has been frenzied interest from external investors in the local mining industry since the formation of the Inclusive Government.
Zimbabwe has more than 40 recorded occurrences of different minerals, some of which have not been exploited to a significant extent.
Popular minerals found in huge deposits include gold, platinum, coal, diamonds, emerald, ferro-chrome and tin ore.