Zim to meet 75 percent of Phosphate requirements by next year

By Kenias Chivuzhe

ZIMBABWE’s sole phosphate producer, Dorowa Minerals is firmly on course to produce 75 percent of the country’s phosphate requirements by next year.

This comes as the company targets to eliminate imports of basal fertilisers.

The government views the fertiliser production value chain as key towards increased agricultural productivity.

It is in this context that Buhera base Dorowa Minerals has embarked on an expansion drive which was confirmed by the parent company, Industrial Development Cooperation during a visit by the Minister of State in charge of the implementation of special agricultural and related programmes, Honourable Davis Marapira this Tuesday.

“When the vice president came, we were producing 1 000 tonnes of magnetite and now production has been increased to 2 000 tonnes and we are now working on further boosting production to 6 000,” said Winston Makamure, IDC Chairperson.

“We have not had a major setback of our targets. We want to meet 75 percent of Zimbabwe basal fertilizer demand and we are on course. On re-agency we are working with innovation hubs to produce them locally. The re-agency are currently being imported from Europe. Re-agency are used to purify the raw ore to produce phosphates and separate them from magnetite.”
Honourable Marapira expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and re-affirmed government’s support to improving the entity’s capacity utilisation aimed at boosting production of phosphates, magnetite and phosphoric acid.

“We have come here to make a follow up on the implementation of Dorowa Mine revitalization plan in terms of fertilizer production in Zimbabwe. As you can see here the mine is the foundation of the raw materials of NPK,” he said.

“There is production of phosphate concentrate, there is magnetite that is being exported and again there is a focus and vision on revitalisation of phosphoric acid production that is a needed in the production of a lot of food drinks worldwide. We can now have import substitution in terms of all NPK fertilizers which we need in Zimbabwe. As government we are happy with progress here.”

The phosphate producer was last refurbished in 1973, resulting in years of decline in capacity utilisation, and government’s intervention has seen the mine picking up on production.