MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Sketching the future of Angloplat empowerment

Published by MAC on 2006-08-01

Sketching the future of Angloplat empowerment

Viwe Tlaleane, Business Day

1st August 2006

PLATINUM miner Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) spent three days with the minerals and energy department recently, explaining its empowerment plans in broad terms, executives said yesterday.

There has been considerable interest in Angloplat's empowerment plans in the past few years, mainly because of the size of the group, which would imply a very substantial deal if it were to bring in black investors at holding-company level.

Angloplat's market capitalisation yesterday was R157bn, up from R99,7bn at end-December.

The department has not yet granted any mining licences in the platinum sector although a few have been granted in the gold sector. It has been rumoured that the department was taking a hard line towards platinum miners, but Angloplat executives said they had not detected any animosity, certainly not as far as Angloplat was concerned.

They said most of the recent discussions with the department focused on Angloplat's social and labour plans. Executives did not say, but it can be speculated, that the department has quizzed Angloplat on land claims and relocations in some areas, which have recently attracted litigation and negative publicity.

Angloplat is claiming 19% in empowerment credits as a result of deals it has concluded at different mines. This compares with the target of 26% black equity to be achieved by 2014, according to the mining charter. Executives said the meeting with the department did not explore this calculation in detail, but they understood that it liked the group's policy of bringing in empowerment at the operating level.

Angloplat CEO Ralph Havenstein said the group had stayed away from equity at the holding-company level because it did not address the principles of the mining charter and was unaffordable for a group the size of Angloplat. But this picture still had to be completed, and the best way to achieve it was being discussed with the department.


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