SOUTH African platinum producers operating in Zimbabwe said they were watchful of political developments following reports that armed forces had seized power in the southern African country.
“While there are reports of military presence in the country’s capital, to date, there has been no sign of unrest or military presence at any of our operations,” said Johan Theron, a spokesman for Impala Platinum (Implats). “Our operations are all located some distance from the capital, and have continued to operate normally this morning.
“We will continue to assess the situation, and have appeal for calm and the continued safety and wellbeing of the people of Zimbabwe, and our colleagues at the mining operations,” he said.
These comments were echoed by James Wellsted, a spokesman for Sibanye-Stillwater. Implats is in joint venture with Sibanye-Stillwater in the Mimosa Platinum Mine – one of the best performing platinum assets for the two. Implats also has an 87% stake in Zimplats which is a core holding for the group.
Implats CEO, Nico Muller, said in September that he hoped to drive a dividend out of Zimplats as it had completed project work on the $264m Mupani underground expansion which will replace production from its Ngwarati and Rukodzi sections.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said it would take “appropriate action” in the event the safety of its employees at the Unki platinum mine in Zimbabwe was compromised. “We continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe. Unki Mine is operating normally,” spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole. “The safety of our employees is of utmost importance and we will take appropriate action necessitated by unfolding events”.
Reuters reported earlier today that Zimbabwe’s military seized power targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe but gave assurances that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.
“We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, said on television. “As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
Zuma hoped that developments in the country would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government, as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions.
Zuma also urged the Zimbabwean government and its military forces to resolve the political impasse amicably and called on the military to ensure that peace and security in the country was not compromised, said EWN.