Govt paves way for chrome exports

HARARE - Government is set to gazette a Statutory Instrument (SI) legalising the lifting of the country’s ban on chrome ore exports, a Cabinet minister has said.

Mines minister Walter Chidakwa last week said his ministry was in the process of finalising the framework that was going to guide the export of the mineral, two months after he announced the temporary lifting of the ban on the export of chrome ore.

“A statutory instrument to legalise the lifting of the ban is almost finalised and is likely to be published next week.

“There are various conditions that need to be in place before the process can start, however, I am confident the SI is going to be published soon,” Chidakwa said.

This comes after the minister has been under fire from various camps that he was failing to institute necessary action to facilitate for the exportation of chrome.

Chegutu Member of Parliament, Webster Shamhu, recently told the National Assembly that nothing had been done to date to facilitate for the transition.

“The government announced the lifting of the ban in the export of chrome a couple of weeks ago but up to now, that promise has not been implemented,” he said then.

However, deputy Mines minister, Fred Moyo, told the house that efforts were being made to allow the export of the mineral, but, the move was not going to be achieved overnight.

“The ban was lifted I think not more than a month ago…We need to see to it that the claims are accessible to much more people than those three or four companies that currently hold all the claims of the country.

“Another area is that we need to make sure that we have logistics capacity as well as port space and sea transport to be able to be ready to receive our consignments,” Moyo said, adding that there was need to rope in relevant stakeholders like banks and the tax collector.

The ban on chrome ore exports was introduced four years ago by government as part of strategies to encourage value addition on the country’s minerals.

Chidakwa, who also scrapped a 20 percent export tax on the metal, said royalties on chrome would rise to five percent from two percent.

Zimbabwe, which holds the second largest chrome ore reserves after South Africa, banned the export of raw chrome in April 2011, urging mining companies to process the metal locally but many firms have been forced to close, citing a lack of smelting capacity, high production costs and power shortages.

Currently, the country has a chrome ore production capacity which is estimated at 1,5 million metric tonnes per year and a limited smelting capacity at 455,200 metric tonnes per year.

According to Chidakwa the lifting of the ban is to allow for exportation of up to 30 million tonnes over and above the export of processed ferrochrome.

Comments (3)

Yes export of chrome ore is not a very good idea to alleviate financial problems in that industry. Those who did math can you assist Chidhakwa and company to put resources where it matters most.To produce one tonne of ferrochrome one needs 3tonnes of chromite ore,11400kw of power.540kg of coke,60kg of quartz,4 people ,12% utilities. The cost of one tone of alloy at international market at the moment is almost $930.Vanoziva somhu tibatsireiwo kuti chiri nani chi. kubika simbi kana kuti kutengesa matombo.

nyasha - 18 August 2015

Shamwari I got us $3626. What you mention does not make sense. Revise your power usage

reporter - 19 August 2015

at this moment the country needs to move forward.Zim chrome has been virtually untouched compared to even a country we do not have the capacity to process the or locally and Zim has a lot of the mineral untouched and at high grades.probably the highest in the world actually.we export everything of gold,nickle,diamonds,platinum (albeit processed somewhat).as a country we need to generate our own income to set up power generation sites as well as chrome smelting plants.until such time this chrome sector can employ more than 150 000 quickly.its a win win.

watso - 31 August 2015

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