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Zimbabwean state miner faces US$65.9M in asset seizures after failed appeal

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Zimbabwean state miner faces US$65.9M in asset seizures after failed appeal

State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. is facing asset seizures after a failed appeal against a 2014 arbitration ruling over the cancellation of nickel and platinum joint ventures with British Virgin Islands-based Amari Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg News reported Dec. 18.

Amari won the right to seize the miner's assets worth US$65.9 million as compensation for the revocation of the 2007 and 2008 deals, which Zimbabwe claimed were not approved by the state miner's officials and the country's mines minister, according to the report.

The International Court of Arbitration issued the decision following a hearing in Lusaka, Zambia, the news agency said.

Ian Small-Smith, a lawyer acting for Amari, said in the report that the company intends to seize assets owned by the state miner and the sovereign and may target the country's diamond and tobacco shipments.

Amari claimed it was approached by Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters, who was granted the platinum prospect initially held by the company, for a settlement, the report said. A representative from Peters' Bravura Holdings Ltd. denied this.

Zimbabwean Secretary for Mines Mazai Moyo was quoted as saying that the ministry is aware of the development and that the issue is under control through "a number of stakeholder engagement processes."