Zimasco production, exports to double

Kudakwashe Mhundwa Business Reporter
Chrome miner, Zimasco expects to double its production and exports by the second quarter of the year as strategies implemented by the current judicial management begin to bear fruits.

In response to The Herald Business this week, judicial manager Reggie Saruchera said the company has returned to profitability in the first seven months of judicial management.

He said there are also plans to begin the process of retiring its legacy debt over a period beginning June this year.

“Zimasco is targeting to increase production and exports, by the second quarter, to a total of 12 500 metric tonnes per annum from Smelting and Metal Recovery as well as 20 000 tonnes per annum from Chrome Ore Concentrates,” said Mr Saruchera.

The mining firm is producing and exporting an average 10,000 metric tonnes per annum of high grade chrome ore concentrates.

Mr Saruchera said the company’s smelting infrastructure is running at 80 percent capacity producing high carbon ferrochrome compared to the 37 percent production capacity recorded in 2015.

He further cited that the organisation is currently running two furnaces at its East plant at full capacity and is leasing three of its furnaces at its West Plant to Portnex International of which two are running,

“It is anticipated that the third furnace will also start running in the second half of 2017,” said Mr Saruchera

The ferrochrome miner last year secured an export licence that will see the company exporting 240 000 metric tonnes per annum.

The export licence has to a greater extent aided the revival of the company after it had stopped its operations in 2015, leading to the switching off of its smelters at the Kwekwe refinery

Government last year announced that it will only issue chrome ore export licences on condition that big ferrochrome miners cede some of their underutilised mining claims.

Zimasco as one of the big miners has since ceded 50 percent of chrome claims to Government as part of its turnaround strategy leading to the awarding of an export licence earlier this month.

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