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Zimasco resumes production, to commission two new furnaces

Kwekwe based ferrochrome producer Zimasco has resumed production after a two-month closure following disagreements with power utility ZESA over changes in electricity tariffs.

Zimasco spokesperson Clara Sadomba told New Ziana that the two East Plant furnaces were restarted on January 21.

“The resumption of ferrochrome production in Kwekwe is a positive development for the company and means Zimasco’s expected contribution to the country’s target of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 remains on course,” she said.

The four new furnaces are expected to produce a combined 14 400 tons per month of high carbon ferrochrome and will directly employ over 400 people.

The addition of the four new furnaces at the Kwekwe smelter will increase the company’s ferrochrome production capacity to over 315 000 tonne per annum.

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Sadomba said Zimasco was in the process of switching on three of its furnaces, largely to fulfil its customer requirements.

Construction of the new modern furnaces – two at East Plant and one at West Plant, are expected to be completed and commissioned in phases.

One furnace is expected to be commissioned in April and the other two by June this year. This will be followed in the last quarter of 2023, by commissioning of the ore fines agglomeration and sintering plant.

The sintering plant utilizes off gases from the new two East Plant fully closed furnaces, enhancing energy efficiency in the smelting process and protecting the environment.

Zimasco took advantage of the temporary closure to carry out essential maintenance work on its furnaces.