Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Chrome smelting giant Zimasco is set to open a modernised smelting plant in Mberengwa’s Neta area, which will result in the company employing over 4 000 employees, an official has said.
Speaking during a tour of Zimasco mining claims in the area recently, Zimasco general manager Mr Reason Mandimika said Mberengwa has over seven million tonnes of ore, hence their decision to open a new plant in the area. He said work on setting up the plant has started and was expected to be operational by July next year.
“By July 2020, the plant should be running, starting with 10 000 tonnes of ore per month to about 20 000 tonnes per month when everything is in place,” said Mr Mandimika.
He said the new plant will be a specialised smelter with specialised furnaces.
“In Mberengwa, we have a special type of ore which is called friable chrome.
“This type of ore cannot be processed at our Kwekwe smelters. It has its own special niche in the market, hence the decision to have a separate plant,” he said.
“The plant will be grading the ore and the type of chrome which will be produced will fetch good money on the market.”
Mr Mandimika said the new project will benefit the local community and the company was now working on addressing environmental issues before setting up the plant.
“We are growing and expanding as a company, but in our expansion, we do not want to disadvantage the community, we would rather want to benefit the community,” he said.
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes Dr Joram Gumbo, who was part of the tour, commended Zimasco for the investment.
“I am impressed by the development being undertaken by Zimasco.
“Mining is no joke, it needs serious investors who are prepared to invest huge sums of money before realising a return from the business.”
“This is what Zimasco is doing, and as Government, we will give them the necessary support for as long what they are doing is in line with the laws that govern the mining industry.”