|ZMF, UAE to establish gold processing centres|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:17|
THE Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) in partnership with a United Arab Emirates firm will soon embark on a two-year project of setting-up gold processing centres in all the country’s mining areas, an official has said.ZMF president Mr Trynos Nkomo said his organisation was engaged in a number of gold mining projects that seek to enhance the mineral’s production as well as ensuring growth and development of small-scale miners .
“We have partners from the UAE that want to establish elution centres around the country. These are capital intensive projects that require funding hence we are in the process of identifying investors as well as the appropriate areas where these centres will be built.
“All these projects are meant to enhance gold production as well as see to the development of small scale miners to medium and large scale players in the sector,” he said. An elution centre refers to a place where the final process of gold extraction is carried out.
Mr Nkomo said small-scale miners contributed immensely in the country’s total gold output and hailed Government for initiating a number of programmes aimed at supporting miniature miners.
According to figures released by the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines small-scale miners contributed one third of the total gold receipts from the period January to April.
Mr Nkomo said ZMF was also in the process of engaging international investors that are interested in partnering it in setting up chrome smelters.
“Our focus is not on gold only but other minerals like chrome. Value addition is an important aspect in mining that is why it’s important for us to have several chrome smelters around the country,” he said.
Government effected an export ban of raw chrome three years ago in a bid to maximise on value addition of all its mineral resources.
Experts say local value addition of chrome can create at least 2 000 jobs and generate US$3,8 million in fresh revenue for the fiscus and that every 2 000 tonnes of chrome ore can generate close to US$1,0 million worth of metal when exported in processed form compared with just about US$240 000 when exported raw.
The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines estimates chrome output to increase to 3,5 million tonnes up from 1,5 million tonnes last year.
Zimbabwe holds an estimated 10 billion tonnes of chrome ore reserves and 80 percent of the world’s metallurgy quality chrome is found in the country.