Government stops job export in Chrome sector

by | Aug 5, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Raw mineral export banned

Hosia Mviringi


Government has approved total embargo on the export of raw chrome as a way to safeguard local investment in smelting infrastructure and maximise returns from mining.


Zimbabwe has set itself an ambitious target of attaining a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.


This target can only be attainable if the country begins to earn maximum returns on its mineral exports.

For this to be attained the country needs to begin adding value to its mineral exports so as to maximise value and retain jobs for the local people.


“The nation is informed that Zimbabwe is endowed with the world’s second largest deposit of chrome ore which is required for metallurgical processes such as steel manufacturing. A cumulative 22 smelters are now operating and are shared among nine foreign and local companies,” said Honourable Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in a recent post-Cabinet press brief.


“Unless chrome mining is expanded, the smelting operations could soon face the challenge of insufficient feed stock in the form of chrome ore.

In light of the need to safeguard the ferrochrome industry in the above regard, Cabinet approved a total ban on export of raw chrome ore with immediate effect.”


It is expected that the ban will preserve and help put to full use local smelting capacity while at the same time earning the country more foreign currency by exporting a value added product.


It is important to note that each time a country exports raw mineral, they are actually creating a vibrant processing industry in the receiving country, and this exporting jobs and taxes.


The government of Zimbabwe is making steady strides towards the vision of fully benefiting from its finite resources through value addition.


It is hoped that the government will move a step further and put together legislation that encourage marketing of mineral resources on the Zimbabwean soil.


This will ensure that value is not lost through undervaluation of resources, transport costs, and the risk of proceeds thereof being garnished by sanctions imposing nations.


Government approved the total ban of chrome ore export with effect from July 2022 in order to give producers of chrome concentrates a year within which to make suitable arrangements for the value addition of the concentrates.


“Accordingly, exports of any consignment of raw chrome will only be allowed provided that all smelters are not in a position to take up and utilise that particular consignment,” Minister Mutsvangwa.


A US$1 billion steel-producing project which has been approved for the Midlands town of Mvuma is a good example of one of many local projects that will need the chrome concentrate for ferrochrome products that will inevitably fetch higher prices on export.

Upon completion the Dinson Iron and Steel Company, which will become Africa’s largest integrated steel plant, will employ more than 5000 locals along the supply chain.