Zimbabwe has agreed to allow exports of chrome ore and is
working out methods for companies to export unprocessed ore,
which is currently banned under the countrys laws,
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin has
The government is considering
either allowing companies to auction stockpiled chrome ore or
granting exporters a two-year export window.
Relaxing the chrome ore export
ban for another two years will attract a value-addition levy,
deputy minister for mines and mining development Gift
The government would also need
to build weighbridges at the Nyamapanda and Chikwalakwala
border posts, which link landlocked Zimbabwe to Mozambican
ports and were used by chrome exporters when the ban was last
relaxed in 2008.
"The last time this ban was
relaxed, a lot of chrome was siphoned out of the country
through areas where there were no weighbridges," Chimanikire
said, noting that funds raised from the levy will be used for
building smelter capacity.
The government also might
consider auctioning off its "quite substantial" stockpiles of
chrome ore, mines minister Obert Mpofu said. "We could conduct
auctions of stockpiled material by asking bidders who want to
export chrome ore to purchase it at an auction," he said. "It
is not something that will take long to consummate, and I think
that is what is going to happen in the next few months."
Mpofu admitted that companies
with smelting facilities can only handle feed from their own
mines. "Chrome ore production far outstrips the processing
facilities we have in the country. That is the challenge we are
dealing with," he said.
Zimbabwe has limited ferrochrome
smelting capacity, and the few operators in the country have
either scaled down production or shut down completely, citing
high electricity costs and low ferrochrome prices.
ferrochrome producer Zimasco Pvt. Ltd., for example, scaled
down production to 40 percent of its 180,000-tonne-per-year
capacity in 2012, citing low prices.
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Metal