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ZIMASCO cedes 50pct chrome claims to indigenous Zimbabweans

03/02/2017 00:00:00
by Anna Chibamu
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THE Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (ZIMASCO) has ceded 50 percent of its chrome claims to government to help ensure wider inclusion of locals the sector, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa has confirmed.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Thursday, Chidhakwa said his ministry had been discussing with ZIMASCO and Zimbabwe Alloys Ltd (ZIMALLOYS) modalities for the release of some of their mining claims.

“Discussions with ZIMASCO are complete as all the final agreements have been reached and 50 percent of their claims have been handed over to government.

“However, discussions with ZIMALLOYS are still on-going and we anticipate reaching an agreement shortly,” Chidhakwa said.

ZIMASCO has, to date, released some 21,270 hectares in four provinces - Mashonaland Central 9,643 hectares, Mashonaland West 2,390 hectares, Midlands 8,563 hectares and Masvingo 674 hectares.

The total is however, 1,000 hectares short of the original 22,270 hectares earmarked for distribution, an issue the government says is being addressed.

According to Chidhakwa the claims ceded to government would be distributed to, among other organisations, Zimbabwe Geological Survey (5,746) for future development; medium scale beneficiation plants and new smelters who were allocated 7,000 hectares.

Small scale miners have been given 10,000 hectares to “promote indigenisation and empowerment of marginalised groups”.

Chidhakwa added: “Following the release of chrome mining claims by ZIMASCO to government, and subsequent gazetting of the entire Great Dyke as a Reserved Area (RA), chrome mining claims can be accessed by means of special grants.”

Last year, ZIMASCO produced 75,500 tons of chrome ore valued at us$31 million. The mining company suspended operations in 2015 as the global ferrochrome market slowed down since 2011.

Zimbabwe and South Africa are estimated to have more than 80 percent of the world’s chrome ore reserves.


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