Govt moves to ban chrome exports

HARARE - Zimbabwe is mulling a ban on the export of chrome as it looks to build internal refinery capacity, the Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa has said.

Zimbabwe’s ferrochrome production is expected to double to 300 000 tonnes this year after the government allocated chrome concessions to small mining companies as part of efforts to boost output.

Zimbabwe, along with South Africa, holds about 90 percent of the world’s chromite reserves and resources, according to the US Geological Survey, and the ban will affect exports to China and South Africa.

“The country cannot continue to lose potential revenue through exporting minerals in their raw form. There is need to adopt the Africa mining vision which calls for beneficiation,” Chidakwa said at the 23rd graduation ceremony of the Zimbabwe School of Mines in Bulawayo.

Chidakwa hinted that the government might need to revisit the 2011 policy on the ban of raw minerals like chrome.

School of Mines CEO, Dzingirayi Tusai, said the regional institution is set to set up a geology centre in Mutare that shall cater for processing of all semi-precious metals found in the country.

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