Zimbabwe and Sinosteel of China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the tune of $1.01 billion for the mining of ferrochrome and coal bed methane in Matabeleland North Province.

Projects to be undertaken under the agreement are expected to create over 5000 new jobs, while more jobs will be created through the establishment of a 400megawatt power station.

The power plant will be established in two phases and the electricity generated used by ZIMASCO in its chrome smelting operations, while the excess will go into the national grid.

Under the agreement, three more chrome smelting furnaces, two in Zvishavane and one in Kwekwe will be set up.

In his speech at the signing ceremony, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the project will play a major role in beneficiation and employment creation

He also spoke of the possibility of stainless steel production

Sinosteel President, Mr Andong Liu said his company, which is owned by the Chinese government, is eager to do more with Zimbabwe.

He hailed the arrangement, saying ferrochrome production will go a long way in job creation and growing the economy.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Winston Chitando signed on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe.

VP Mohadi (in grey suit) at the signing ceremony

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, his counterpart Cde Kembo Mohadi, Energy and Power Development Minister Cde Simon Khaya Moyo and the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda were also in attendance, while the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Huang Ping led the Chinese delegation.