Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Bureau
KWEKWE based chrome smelting company, Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco), which is under judicial management, has made a turnover of more than $158 million within the past 16 months, an official has said.
In an interview, Zimasco judicial manager, Mr Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton International said, the company, once the largest ferrochrome producer in the country, also posted a profit of more than $45 million during the same period.
Zimasco, which is rising from a debt overhang that had affected the company for years and under judicial management, has started making efforts towards liquidating debt owed to various creditors while a scheme of arrangement is in the pipeline.
“We are happy to announce that we have managed to turn around Zimasco during the first 16 months of judicial management. Zimasco has made a turnover of more than $158 million and a profit of more than $45 million,” he said.
Mr Saruchera said the company was now operating on full throttle. He said the company has also invited its creditors for a scheme of arrangement on 29 November to map the way forward on how to settle the debts.
The scheme of arrangement is expected to reschedule the debt and free up some space for capital and recurrent expenditure.
Zimaso owed a total of $144 936 691 to creditors including $21 780 307 to Sinosteel Singapore (in liquidation), $11 350 142 to Sinosteel International and $3 309 850 to the National Social Security Authority, pension funds and NEC.
In addition it owes $34 738 364 to financial institutions, $7 295 513 for retrenchment packages, $2 787 316 towards salaries and wages arrears (three months), among other creditors.
For some debts the company considered rescheduling and repaying over six and a half years.
The negotiations have been going on and the company expects that an arrangement could be in place later this month.
“The company is now operating on full throttle. We have invited our creditors to a scheme meeting this month to see how best we can stagger the payment over a period of four to five years,” said Mr Saruchera.
Zimasco has paid creditors $26,7 million.
Zimasco, an integrated ferrochrome producer with chromite mining locations in Shurugwi, Guinea Fowl, Lalapanzi, Mutorashanga and tributary operations along the Great Dyke.