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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Angloplat strikes mining deal
Guards watching over a pair of platinum and diamond-encrusted shoes
Platinum has uses far beyond luxury goods
Anglo American Platinum, the biggest platinum producer in the world, has signed a 4bn rand ($384m; 251m) mining partnership with a South African tribe.

The deal with the Royal Bafokeng Nation in the country's Northwest Province should lead to production of 485,000 ounces of refined platinum within five years of its completion.


As a general principle we are not going to play the role of major benefactor

Barry Davison
Angloplat
The announcement comes just a week after the company announced the government had signed off on two separate 20bn rand expansion plans, each including black investors in 50/50 shareholdings.

Talks are currently under way between the South African administration and mine owners over leaked plans to restrict new mine ownership.

Under the proposals, ownership would be controlled by black empowerment companies, as part of an attempt to make up for their exclusion throughout the apartheid years.

'No free lunch'

The deal with the Royal Bafokeng Nation involves contributions by each side of both money and platinum reserves.

Angloplat, whose shares are down 15% on the year thanks to jitters about falling profits as well as the proposed new mining laws, was keen to stress that no handouts were involved.

"We will expect our partners to pay for their stakes," chairman Barry Davison told analysts and reporters.

"As a general principle we are not going to play the role of major benefactor."

Anglo's willingness to strike this kind of bargain, though, could help it in its negotiations with the government over the new rules.

The company, 59.6% owned by mining giant Anglo American, has centuries of reserves, and would be among the worst hit should the new legislation prove as tough as leaks have suggested.

See also:

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06 Nov 01 | Africa
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