Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
GIANT ferrochrome producer, Zimbabwe Alloys will soon resume operations after sealing a $100 million deal with an Indian investor.
In an interview, ZimAlloys judicial manager Mr Reggie Saruchera said the company was going for a scheme of arrangement in December with its creditors where they will avail the new investor. Mr Saruchera said the company will then map the way forward in terms of the operationalisation of the company.
“The deal has been sealed but we will soon announce the investor. The investor is injecting more than $100 million into the Gweru-based company. We have since invited creditors and stakeholders to a scheme of arrangement meeting. The new investor will take over operations,” he said.
Mr Saruchera said the company will re-engage its former workers.
“The company will re-engage its former employees and will also employ more people as it grows and increase production,” he said.
The company is working on their dump which includes one commissioned in 2013 in a partnership with a Chinese firm, JinAn in a deal worth about $2,3 million. Benscore, which is owned by business mogul Mr Farai Rwodzi, acquired ZimAlloys from Anglo-American Company in 2005 before downscaling production and switching off its blast furnaces and started processing its dumps.
The former Anglo-American ferrochrome producer which stopped operations in 2008 was placed under provisional judicial management on 24 July, 2014. The company was then put under final judicial management in November the same year after the ferrochrome producer’s debt had risen to alarming levels.
It owes its creditors $60 million. However, bad debt-buying company, Zimbabwe Asset Management Company last year agreed to take over $21 million worth of the group’s non-performing loans which are sitting with a number of local financial institutions in a bid to clean the company’s balance sheet.
ZimAlloys has 39 175 hectares. The company together with Zimasco jointly controlled about 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims, mostly found along the Great Dyke. Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya said the revival of ZimAlloys will contribute significantly towards employment creation as well as the accomplishing of the $3 billion mineral export target.