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Zimasco to close Shurugwi mine
17/03/2014 00:00:00
by The Source
 
 
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FERROCHROME producer Zimasco will this year shut down Peak Mine in Shurugwi and lease it to private operators in a tributary arrangement, sources familiar with the development said on Monday.

The company has so far retrenched 500 out of the 1,100 workers at the Shurugwi operations, mainly miners, citing diminishing ferrochrome ore deposits at the mine and a shift in business strategy towards smelting activities.

“The whole idea is to leave mining activities to tributes then focus on the less expensive business of buying ferrochrome ore and smelting it,” an official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Source.

“This will cut overhead costs by over 50 percent considering that (Zimasco) is the one which will determine the price of ferrochrome ore from tributaries.”

The closure of Peak Mine means Zimasco would have leased out all its mining operations to tributary and co-operative miners.  A total of 600 000 tonnes per annum of ferrochrome ore are produced from mining areas.

Zimasco started mining operations in Shurugwi in 1926 and shut down its Railway Block mine a decade ago citing low ore deposits.

Last month, Zimasco’s general manager for marketing and administration, Clara Sadomba said the company will retrench half of its 3,000 workforce, citing poor metal prices and the need to contain operational costs.  In addition to mining, it has a ferrochrome smelter in Kwekwe.

The company is 73 percent owned by China’s Sinosteel Corporation.


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