Home » Industry » Essar to Partner ZMDC in Exploration Project

INDIAN steel conglomerate, Essar Africa will partner the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp to explore iron ore deposits at Manhize Ranch in Chivhu.

The group is also looking at setting up a beneficiation plant.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce yesterday that pertinent issues regarding the claims have been ironed out and extensive exploration was on course.

Government seemed not to have been comfortable in transferring claims to Essar before establishing the nature of the deposits.

“There have been some exploration work done by Essar in the area before, but we have resolved that this should be done in partnership with ZMDC,” said Minister Bimha.

Essar, through NewZim Minerals, owns 80 percent of iron ore claims at Buchwa Mine, Ripple Creek and Manhize Ranch, while 20 percent is owned by the Government.

“Once we are sure of what we have in terms of resources then mining can take place and the ore from Manhize will be blended with the ore from other areas especially from Ripple Creek with the idea of reaching the grade that Essar would be looking for,” he added.

“If all goes well with discussions with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, we will eventually put up a beneficiation plant again to create the feedstock that goes to New Zimsteel. This is going to create employment and improvement on infrastructure.”

Essar said the setting up of a beneficiation plant and the subsequent exploitation of the ore would assist in developing the local communities, create jobs and empower local firms and the people.

The Indian firm has however, rejected reserves at Buchwa Mine, saying they were too deep and expensive to exploit while those at Ripple Creek do not have sufficient resources to recoup their investment.

Source : The Herald