Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The expansion of magnetite production at Dorowa minerals in Buhera has gotten a boost after the Government secured US$2,5 million funding that was required.
The development is expected to raise the capacity of the plant and will be a boost for downstream industries, in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
Dorowa Minerals, a primary producer of phosphate concentrates in Zimbabwe, has diversified into magnetite production to boost its revenue base.
Magnetite is a rock mineral and one of the main iron ores with several domestic and industrial uses including separating coal from waste, while for domestic purposes, it can be transformed and used as magnetic decor for refrigerator doors.
The availability of the funding was announced yesterday by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare.
She said Cabinet received reports on progress made in the implementation of priority projects for the Second 100-Day Cycle of 2022 as presented by a number of ministers.
“The Minister of Industry and Commerce Honourable Sekai Nzenza reported that the following has been recorded on projects under her purview; funding of US$2,5 million for the expansion of the magnetite production at Dorowa Minerals, Buhera has been secured. This would increase capacity of the plant,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Besides phosphate, which is used in the fertiliser chain, the company is sitting on about 26 million tonnes of iron, the ore that contains the mineral magnetite and it is no longer used as a by-product because so many customers were willing to take it.
Dorowa Minerals is wholly-owned by Chemplex Corporation, which falls under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), an investment vehicle under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
It is the only producer of phosphate in Zimbabwe and sits on large reserves of phosphate ore, making it a strategic player in the country’s economic development.
Minister Mutsvangwa said manufacturing plant equipment of the new grain protectant plant had been completed.
“Manufacturing of the component of the fertiliser granulation plant has been completed and will be installed by the first week of September,” she said.
She said Cabinet also considered an update on the partial privatisation of Petrotrade as presented by Energy and Power Development Minister, Zhemu Soda.
Minister Mutsvangwa said in 2019, Cabinet approved the merging of the state-owned petroleum companies, namely Petrotrade (Pvt) Ltd and Genesis Energy to form a single entity that would be partially privatised including Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) as the prospective strategic partner to the merged petroleum company, subject to successful negotiations.
“The Transaction Advisor proposed three merging methods or options that is, (1) purchase of assets, (2) business purchase and (3) establishment of a new company. Cabinet wishes to inform the public that it approved the business purchase merging method since it fulfils the Government’s objective of merging Petrotrade and Genesis Energy at the least restructuring cost.
“The option will preserve the value created to date by both entities over the years and will ensure minimum disruption to the current operations,” she said.
Other issues approved by Cabinet include that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should reserve some areas for the empowerment of youths to take part in the mining industry in line with the Constitution.
This will entail reserving against prospecting and pegging portions of areas in the eight provinces and a framework to outline the implementation modalities will soon be made public.
Cabinet also approved the principle of a support programme to enable the youths to optimally utilise the mining concessions and that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development committed to a funding programme for the youth in mining.
Other projects were presented by Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Jenfan Muswere, who reported among other things that 50 ICT school-labs had been established to date in all provinces and that 400 schools from all provinces were connected on the internet.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka, reported that the irrigation development, the Pedstock Centre Pivot Facility in all rural Provinces was 93,3 percent complete, whie 130 boreholes for irrigation had been drilled.
In terms of cattle branding, 1 212 293 cattle were branded against a target of 800 000.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu reported that the installation of five digital stations was complete, and four automatic and Digital Weather Stations and three automatic rain gauges were installed in Masvingo.
The renovation of Zimparks lodges at Lake Chivero and Nyanga had also been completed, among other projects.