October 8, 2011 / 9:53 AM / 8 years ago

Rio surrenders 51 pct stake in Zimbabwe unit - paper

HARARE, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto has told Zimbabwe’s government it will give up a 51 percent stake in its local diamond unit Murowa to comply with the country’s local ownership law, state media reported on Saturday.

“Murowa Diamonds wrote to us (on Thursday) saying they have given up 51 percent shares and these would be given to our people,” Saviour Kasukuwere, the Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister told the official Herald newspaper.

Resource rich Zimbabwe wants all foreign miners to comply with an empowerment law forcing foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks, to surrender majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.

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