Impala Platinum said its Zimbabwean subsidiary Zimplats had agreed to release 23,903 hectares of land within its mining lease area to the government. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Impala Platinum said on Wednesday its Zimbabwean subsidiary Zimplats had agreed to release 23,903 hectares of land within its mining lease area to the government to support efforts to enable participation by other investors in the platinum mining industry.

Last year, Zimplats said the Zimbabwe's government intended to compulsorily acquire 27,948 hectares of land within its special mining lease area, which the company opposed.

"Zimplats has agreed to release to the government land measuring 23, 903 hectares within Zimplats’ mining lease area. Following this release of ground, Zimplats now holds two separate and non-contiguous pieces of land measuring in aggregate 24 632 hectares," Implats said.

"Consequently, the operating subsidiary applied for and was granted with effect from 31 May 2018, two separate mining leases over the two pieces of land measuring 6,605 hectares and 18,027 hectares, respectively."

Implats said the smaller area hosted the historical Hartley mining area and Selous Metallurgical Complex, while the other hosted the Ngezi mining operations, including the future portal 10 mining area. 

These mining leases replace the special mining lease held by Zimplats, which was due for renewal in August 2019.  

"The two mining leases issued to Zimplats’ operating subsidiary are valid for the life of mine of Zimplats’ mining operations and secure the operating subsidiary’s mining tenure," Implats said.

Implats, the world's second largest platinum producer owns 87 percent of Zimplats, a leading mining company in Zimbabwe specializing in platinum group metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, and osmium.

- African News Agency (ANA)