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Friday, May 24, 2024

Zimbabwe eyes chrome beneficiation

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

THE Government has exempted some chrome mining companies constructing smelting furnaces from a raw ore export ban to enable them to raise capital as Zimbabwe targets a US$12 billion mining industry.

The raw chrome export ban was instituted by the government to encourage companies to invest in the construction of smelting furnaces.

However, the government has seen it prudent to exempt firms that are already pushing the value-addition drive and allow them to raise capital to expedite the construction of smelting furnaces.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Honourable Winston Chitando revealed that the initiative is being taken in line with measures to boost production in the ferrochrome value chains.

“Chrome mineralisation occurs mainly in two forms, lumpy ores which are fed straight into furnaces and alluvial ores like sands which are upgraded into higher value sands for feeding into furnaces commonly referred to as chrome concentrate. With the technology currently in use on most of the furnaces in the country, unless the concentrates undergo an agglomeration process, there is a limit to the extent to which they can be utilised in the furnaces,” he said.

“The rationale for banning the export of ores and concentrates was for companies to invest in the requisite facilities to value add to ferrochrome. This policy still stands and companies have started the process of constructing smelting furnaces.

“To enable these companies to raise the necessary capital, cabinet this week approved recommendations by our ministry for the exemption on the ban of chrome ores by the concerned companies to complete the construction and expansion of furnaces and processing facilities.”

Zimbabwe will also next week host the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) Council of Ministers meeting in Victoria Falls with increased production of gems topping the agenda.

“Next week the African Diamond Producers Association Council of Ministers meeting is on to the extent that it is all about sharing ideas on how the entire continent can maximize production while unlocking value for the precious stones, remember Zimbabwe is the chair of the association so several deliberations will also involve on steps to continue accelerating production of the mineral,” said Minister Chitanfo.

Zimbabwe’s US$12 billion mining industry target by year-end is in motion as evidenced by a continuous rise in overall production volumes and export receipts for different resource extractive commodities.

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