A total of four chrome smelters will be established at Zimbabwe’s leading chrome mining operations to boost domestic value addition of chrome exports.

Africa’s long standing curse is whereby the continent exports unprocessed minerals and then imports the same as finished products, thus losing billions in potential revenue.

Zimbabwe’s mining sector which contributes at least 60 percent of total export earnings is to generate more following government intervention to increase mineral beneficiation at various mining companies.

Four chrome smelting plants will be set up within the next 100 days at Afrochine Chrome and ZIMASCO, which will go further in maximising export earnings.

“This is a welcome development for the country’s mining sector and will obviously increase our export receipts.  Furthermore, jobs will be created and it will even feed to the various local companies that will get raw materials,” the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Polite Kambamura said.

Leading platinum mines, Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki plan to establish platinum refinery plants by mid next year, following government’s pressure to do so.

The Bindura smelter and refinery plant, Africa’s biggest nickel refinery plant is set to reopen after it was closed over a decade ago.

Mining beneficiation will be a catalyst of Zimbabwe’s economic transformation agenda to achieve vision 2030.

Meanwhile, chrome miners under the Zimasco block in the Midlands Province have hailed the good relations between them and their supplier which has resulted in the latter providing them with equipment, fuels and oils at subsidised rates, thereby improving their mining efficiency.

A biggest beneficiary of Zimasco equipment, Pet Maz Mine has produced 1500 tonnes of chrome in one month, owing to the use of modernised equipment supplied to them.

Their long lasting relationship with Zimasco saw the mine acquire sophisticated mining equipment at subsidised rates.

With four excavators and four loaders, the mine supervisor, Mr Langton Maguvu said their efficiency has improved as they are doing side casting in a 48cm chrome belt.

“Our operations have improved significantly owing to the type of equipment we are using,” he said.

Pet Maz Mine Director, Mr Peter Mhazo, who started mining in 1989, said gone are the days of the pick and shovel mining as they appreciate the good relations they have with their supplier.

“We appreciate the assistance from Zimasco and we are now in the process of ordering spares through them since they have access to foreign currency,” he said.

Pet Maz Chrome Mine, which boasts of 18 breakers and 6 operators, is adhering to the government’s call for responsible mining as they are doing back filling.

The chrome miner had to abandon the 28 meter Chomvuri Mine after reaching the water table.

Zimasco assisted chrome miners under their block to acquire mining equipment.