Mugabe to Ask Investors to Dig Mines, Forget Farms: Week Ahead 

By Brian Latham and Carli Lourens

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe will this
week ask investors to plow their money into platinum, chrome and gold
projects to help the country recover from a decade-long recession.

They’ll need to put aside concerns over a farm seizure program that
destroyed Zimbabwe’s biggest export industry, recurrent threats of
nationalization and a proposed law to force miners to sell 51 percent of
their assets to Zimbabweans that the government now says is being

In what’s being billed as Zimbabwe’s biggest ever mining conference
Mugabe will present a united front with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader with whom he formed a coalition
government. They are seeking investors to help them exploit the world’s
second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves and companies to reopen
idled gold mines and dig coal pits. NOTE: Mugabe and his wife Grace
own many mines themselves.

“There’s a number of issues that need resolution,” David Brown, the
chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum Holdings
Ltd., the biggest investor in Zimbabwean mining, said in an interview.
If the government makes the legal changes it promised “we’ll be in a
much more positive frame of mind in terms of investment.”

Impala, which owns platinum mines in the country, has held back on
investment plans worth about $750 million as it awaits clarity on mining

Zimbabwe’s platinum reserves lag behind only South Africa. Along with
Russia the three countries are the only nations with significant
reserves of the metal used to curb car pollution.

‘Better Laws’

“Zimbabwe could attract billions of dollars in mining exploration and
development, provided the laws to make mining attractive are passed,”
Tendai Biti, the country’s finance minister and an ally of Tsvangirai,
said in an interview from Harare. Better mining laws “are expected
before parliament soon.” (Read, bigger cut for foreign mining operations!
NOTHING or ZIP for people of Zimbabwe!)

Companies including Lonmin Plc, Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group
have disposed of assets over the last 10 years. Production of gold,
nickel, ferrochrome and coal has slumped.

Mugabe’s program of seizing commercial farms for redistribution to
subsistence farmers deprived of land during white rule caused shortages
of the foreign currency needed to buy equipment for mining and created
concerns over the security of foreign owned assets.

Investors have also been deterred by threats to take over mines. In 2000
Mugabe said mines could be targeted after farm seizures were completed
and in 2007 he said diamond mining would be reserved for the government
after the state took back a concession following the discovery of the
Marange diamond field by African Consolidated Resources Plc.


Mugabe, Tsvangirai and a number of other government officials will speak
at the Sept. 16 and 17 conference in the capital, Harare. The coalition
government was formed after mediation by Zimbabwe’s neighbors following
disputed elections last year.

Tsvangirai and Biti have since sought investment from Europe to China to
revive the economy, including a gold industry that was once the third
biggest in Africa after those of South Africa and Ghana. While
constitutional talks are yet to be completed, and there are disputes
over government positions, politicians are trying to convince investors
that the worst is over for the economy.

Some gold mines have reopened since February after the government
abolished its currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, and switched to currencies
including the U.S. dollar and the South African rand to tame the world’s
highest inflation rate.

The conference will focus on reviving the mining industry and putting
Zimbabwe back on the map as an “attractive mining destination,” the
country’s Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, said in an interview. There has
“never been a better time” to invest, he added, referring to planned
legal changes and an expected economic recovery.

Mugabe’s Control

The conference, hosted by the mines ministry, is expected to have over
500 delegates, according to the organizers, Johannesburg’s Utho Capital.

In addition to Impala, Aquarius Platinum Ltd. holds a stake in a mine in
the country and Anglo Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the
metal, plans to dig one. Mvelaphanda Resources Ltd. and African Rainbow
Minerals Ltd., both based in Johannesburg, are considering investing in

The country has the potential to produce ten times as much platinum as
the 200,000 ounces it mines annually now, said Joel Mungoshi, a
Mvelaphanda official who will speak at the conference.

Still, for now investors are more likely to have concerns about the
country’s political stability than its metals and mineral reserves, said
Mike Davies, an Africa analyst at Eurasia Group in London, in an

Those worries include the “high level of control that’s left in Mugabe’s
hands,” Davies said.

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My question is, how is that any different from OBAMA giving a trillion to banksters
to patch a dike that's blowing anyway, instead of the MORTGAGE/ FORECLOSED
PEOPLE ..casualties of BANKS' IDIOCY AND GREED  --- getting refinancing??
OR giving us a food stamp program for the poor, or giving us scholarship money so
our kids don't have to be beanpickers or burger servers. What a PRES INVESTS
PUBLIC FUNDS in shows what he's made of! In this case, MUGABE like a kind of
MARCOS, makes billions if not trillions, himself, so when he retires the bucks are
already in Switzerland waiting for them. ZIMBABWE'S MONEY!

The Mugabes mined Zimbabwe
of all the bucks it had.
Left the people starved or dead.
This King was very bad.

When Grace and he got to heaven
St. Peter admonished, semi-fairish...
"Guys you shoulda thought a bit
before you let 12, 891,000 good souls perish!

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