KWEKWE: Mnangagwa commissions chrome mining plant

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has commissioned a new aluminothermic plant at African Chrome Fields (ACF), about 60 km form Kwekwe.

Majority owned by the Moti Group of South African and the local Sakunda Holdings (Pvt) Limited who are the minority shareholders, ACF has since tripled production levels to 30,000 metric tonnes of chrome ore per month since it started operations in 2014.

The 6th state-of-the-art plant is not only set to further increase the company’s range of products through the addition of Ultra Low Carbon High Grade but is also going to boost employment creation.

“The Aluminothermic Beneficiation Plant is a very exciting step both for our flagship operation and for the development of Zimbabwe’s ferrochrome industry,” ACF National Projects Liaison Officer Ashruf Kaka said.

“Zimbabwe currently sits on over 12% global chrome reserves and we want to help the country fulfil its true potential as a major global player in the production and beneficiation of this vital stainless steel ingredient.”

Speaking at the commissioning of the plant Wednesday President Mnangagwa said the mining sector continues to play a pivotal role in the economic developmental trajectory of the country.

“Our country is endowed with vast minerals available for exploration, exploitation value addition and beneficiation,” said Mnangagwa.

He projected growth in the chrome market on the global scale.

“Zimbabwe is home to about 12% of worlds chrome ore resources and due to the increase in demand for ferrochrome and other alloys we are set to be a significant contributor to the global chrome markets.

“I applaud Africa Chrome Fields (ACF) for the plant which has significantly improved the country’s ferrochrome capacities,” he said.

The process used by the plant requires no electricity and allows ACF the opportunity to increase the economic value of the chromite it mines by way of beneficiation.

“While the value addition and beneficiation of our ferrochrome will see increased foreign currency earnings from the exports of this commodity, I urge other investors both domestic and foreign to seize opportunities which are bound in country as we seek to continuously develop our mining sector,” Mnangagwa said.

He Mines Minister Winston Chitando to avail ACF with other claims as the chrome resource at the current location face depletion in less than a decade.

“The current claims they hold will last 7-8 years and I have directed Chitando to find other claims and give them.

“We commend ACF for the contribution they are making towards employment creation; they employ 1,200 locals and 40 expatriates.

“Meanwhile, the new plant will see the employment of additional 100 employees.”

He also commended the group for investing in the country at a time some foreign investors were scaling down or leaving the country altogether.

“I commend the Moti group for the bold decision, the patience and their perseverance dating back to 2015 to invest in Zimbabwe when most companies where scaling down and exiting from this country.”