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Zimbabwe chrome ore export is expected to grow

Zimbabwe chrome ore export is expected to grow

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According to an official in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe's chrome industry is likely to achieve further growth if the Zimbabwean government can take steps to eliminate restrictions on entry into the export market. It is reported that the current Zimbabwe chrome ore contribution to global production is less than 3%.

Speaking at a business meeting in Bulawayo recently, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) general manager Tongai Muzenda said the chrome industry was being affected by sanctions, restricted payment terms, poor road and rail infrastructure, foreign currency shortages and logistics challenges, among others.

"With 12% of the global chromite resources and its chrome ore and ferrochrome production currently contributing less than 3% to global output, the Zimbabwean chrome ore industry has significant potential to grow in the next few years,"

Zimbabwe holds the world's second largest chrome ore reserves after South Africa.

Muzenda said some of the challenges affecting the industry were lack of environmental, safety, research and technical support from arms of government, predatory buying along the Great Dyke, pricing of chrome that is not in line with international markets, high risk of transfer pricing and lack of policy on value addition and beneficiation.

There is also the non-availability of weighbridges, logistics and infrastructure support, unregulated tributary arrangements, lack of mining equipment and under-capitalisation, forcing miners to surrender majority stakes in claims in order to remain in business as well as delays in receiving proceeds, resulting in profits being eroded.
Muzenda said there was need to align local prices to international prices.

"MMCZ will facilitate a one-stop-shop with relevant departments," he said.

He said concerted efforts among artisanal and small-scale miners would yield more for the sector.

"The country is poised to change its fortunes through the mining sector, with the artisanal and small-scale miners playing a pivotal role. MMCZ is open to discussing strategic partnerships for exploitation of chrome ore resources so that the ASM sector is included in the mainstream economy. MMCZ would like to challenge artisanal and small-scale miners to explore for new deposits and to mine them sustainably," he said.

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