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ZimAlloys, Chinese firms in alluvial chrome pact

By Lovemore Zigara

Gweru-based ferrochrome producer, Zimbabwe Alloys (ZimAlloys), has started exploiting alluvial concentrates, at its claims along the Great Dyke as it seeks to widen its revenue base. Alluvial chrome concentrates are high grade chrome ores with grades of up to 50 percent chromium oxide with a good chrome to iron ratio.

ZimAlloys is wholly owned by Benscore, a consortium of indigenous businessman fronted Mr Farai Rwodzi, has been shoring up capital to turnaround its fortunes in the past five years.

The Gweru-based ferro-chrome producer recently courted an Indian investor Balasore Alloys Group, which has committed to injecting $100 million to resuscitate operations at the ferrochrome producer.

The company’s general manager, Mr Mike Dzinoreva, said it has entered into a partnership with two Chinese Companies – Decolux and San He Mining to exploit the concentrates.

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“We have also started exploiting alluvial concentrates and we see a lot of potential in this area. These appear in fine form largely zero to three millimetre in size and in the North Dyke area plans are afoot to set up six plants on different sites for the production of alluvial concentrates with each site producing a minimum of 5000 tonnes per month,” he said.

“Already we have set up a plant jointly with a Chinese company at Sutton Mine in the North Dyke and we recently commissioned another one with another Chinese partner who are providing technical expertise.

“We are confident before the end of the current quarter we will have set up more plants to boost our revenues,” added Mr Dzinoreva.

He said the alluvial concentrate is geared for the export market and will make use of the concentrates during the resuscitation of its furnaces especially for the production of low carbon ferro-chrome.

ZimAlloys has set a target of producing 300 000 tonnes of raw chrome ore for local consumption at its furnaces, which are now under construction and export for this year.

The figure is set to triple to one million tonnes by 2021 on the back of the proposed new investment from Indian Conglomerate, Balasore Alloys Group. The Herald