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Zimbabwe will not require foreign mining companies to list locally as previously announced and will remove the clause from a mines amendment bill now before parliament, the mines minister said on Friday.
Winston Chitando said the requirement had caused panic among foreign mining firms and it was contrary to the government’s push to open the country to foreign investors.
“For the record, Zimbabwe will not compel companies to list on the stock exchange. This does not fit into the new economic dispensation,” Chitando told the annual general meeting of Zimbabwe’s chamber of mines.
The mining bill is expected to be adopted by parliament by the end of this month, the chairman of the parliamentary committee in charge of mining and energy, Temba Mliswa, said on Friday.
The southern African nation has seen increased interest from foreign investors since longtime leader Robert Mugabe was deposed following a de facto military coup last November, but financing of projects remains a hurdle.
Under Mugabe there were often differences within government on policy, with ministers making conflicting statements, which frustrated potential investors in the mineral-rich country.
The plan to force mining companies to list locally had been part of Mugabe’s plan to push through local ownership of foreign mining companies’ Zimbabwe operations.
(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Susan Fenton)