Government shows sincerity on repealing the Indigenisation law

By ZBC Reporter
THE GOVERNMENT has reaffirmed its commitment to increasing investor confidence in the country’s mining sector by allowing a Canadian firm, Caledonia to acquire a 64 percent stake in Gwanda based Blanket Mine.
The development is confirmation of a policy shift in the new dispensation that has made a commitment to do away with a clause in the indigenisation law that did not allow foreigners to own more than 49 percent stake in local companies.
The acquisition of an extra 15 percent stake by Fremiro in Blanket Mine which takes its total shareholding to 64 percent marks the completion of a transaction first announced in November 2018 but was awaiting approval from various Zimbabwean regulatory authorities.
The development also confirms what Caledonia Chief Executive Officer, Mr Steve Curtis said earlier this month when he announced that “2020 is expected to be a landmark year for the Company owing to the expansion of Blanket Mine”.
In summary, the transaction is a clear testimony that the Zimbabwean government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa is walking the talk in improving the investment climate.
The company reached the initial deal to increase its stake after the Zimbabwe government amended the Zimbabwean Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in March 2018.
With the completion of the deal, Caledonia Mining will now have a 64% interest in the Blanket Mine while Fremiro will own 6.3% of Caledonia’s issued share capital.
Caledonia issued 727,266 of its new shares at an issue price of $7.15 a share.
Caledonia Mining Chief Executive Officer, Steve Curtis said, “I am pleased to report that the company has concluded its transaction with Fremiro to increase Caledonia’s shareholding in Blanket to 64%.
“I would like to thank Fremiro for its support as a shareholder in Blanket during the last seven years and am confident that Fremiro, now as a significant shareholder in the company, will continue to be supportive of Caledonia’s business going forward,” he said.
In October 2019, Caledonia Mining installed and commissioned an oxygen plant at the Blanket gold mine.