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Zimbabwe needs state-of-the-art equipment, says Chitando

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2018 at 06:55hrs | Views
State-of-the-art extraction equipment is what the Zimbabwean mining industry, particularly chrome mining, requires for the extraction of the large mineral deposits that the country has, to boost cost competitiveness, a senior Government official has said.

Speaking during the commissioning of the exothermic plant at Africa Chrome Fields (ACF) by President Mnangagwa last week, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the available equipment was far below what the country required to extract the vast tracts of minerals that the country was endowed with. He said in most cases, the price of chrome, which is higher than that of other minerals, is a result of high extraction costs like electricity that the outdated equipment requires, leading to the underutilisation of stored minerals.

"The volatility of chrome price is higher than that of other minerals mainly due to high extraction costs," he said.

"Cost competitiveness has been affected by underutilisation of stored capacity.

"If you look at the small furnaces that we have at most of our companies around the country, against the vast mineral deposits that are underneath you would find that the capacity utilisation levels are far below the required."

Minister Chitando said there was need to revamp extraction, processing and value addition plants around the country.

"We are far below what we require and as a result, viability has been a challenge in the extraction industry," he said. "That is why you see that the price of chrome is not determined by us and is much higher than that of other minerals."

The recently commissioned ACF plant, Minister Chitando said, was a good example of a modern plant that the country requires.

"The plant is geared to stand the prices that have been mentioned. It cuts on high electricity costs, as well as costs of coke and coal. Besides it also generates the much required labour," he said.

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Source - the herald