ASBESTOS miner Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) has ventured into chrome mining as part of efforts to shore up capital internally to kick-start production.
SMM has indicated that it intends to raise close to $200 million internally through various initiatives, among them the disposal of its assets and recycling of its mine dump. So far the asbestos miner has raised $14,8 million through the various initiatives.
It will soon start to recycle its dumps and, already, more than 50 workers have been employed with the figure expected to reach 153 by the end of March.
The company’s chief executive Mr Chirandu Dhlembeu confirmed the development yesterday. He said the company had ventured into chrome mining to raise funds to expedite the reopening of the asbestos mine.
“We have various assets, among them various mining claims of minerals such as gold, tantalite, nickel and chrome,” he said. “We will be disposing some of these claims to raise money for our recapitalisation efforts.
“However, we are now working on some of our chrome claims that we have as a company and we are producing 1 200 tonnes of chrome per month. This will also help us in raising the money required for us to start operations in both Zvishavane and Mashava.”
About $60 million is needed for the miner to resume operations and a timeframe of two to three years has been given for SMM to reach full production.
SMM ceased operations in 2005, a development which left about 5 000 workers jobless. The asbestos miner, which is the sixth largest in the world, has a lifespan of 17 years.