Home » Sports » ZIMBABWE’S CHROME ORE OUTPUT EXPECTED TO RISE TO 550,000 TONNES IN 2017

Production of chrome ore in Zimbabwe is expected to reach 550,000 tons this year, up from 284,943 tons last year after the government acquires excess land which is held by Zimasco, a mining company owned by Sinosteel Corporation, says Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa.

Following negotiations with the government, Zimasco, the biggest producer of chrome in Zimbabwe, ceded 50 per cent of its claims which will be re-distributed to various beneficiaries, including small-scale miners, medium-scale processing plants and new smelters, he said here Thursday.

The claims amount to 21,270 hectares, and it is from these that the government expects a boost in chrome ore production, said Chidhakwa, who added that the re-distribution of the idle claims was partly motivated by the need to broaden indigenous participation in the sub-sector while also generating much needed revenue for the fiscus.

We expect that some 550,000 tons of chrome ore will be exported, he said.

On the other hand, Chidhakwa said, high-carbon ferro-chrome production was also expected to increase to 300,000 tons, up from 149,000 tons last year. High-carbon ferro-chrome is derived from smelted chrome ore.

Chidhakwa said expectations were that Zimasco and another producer, Afrochine, would bring in more smelting capacity during the course of the year. We also expect that Zimasco will do one or two more things on their slug dumps. We expect that the slug dumps at ZimAlloys will be activated and we are therefore projecting, from an actual of 149 000 tons last year, we are projecting 300,000 tons of ferro-chrome for 2017.

He expressed concern that the government was losing out on much needed revenue through the export of raw chrome and in the long-run it would push for total local processing.

For example, in 2016, the country earned only 31 million USD from the export of 284,943 tons of raw chrome compared with 115 million USD realized through the export of only 149,000 tons of high-carbon ferro-chrome.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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