The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
KWEKWE-based ferrochrome producer, Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) is targeting to produce more than 300 000 metric tonnes of high chrome ore concentrates for export this year.
Zimasco general manager- marketing and administration Ms Clara Sadomba said the production of high-grade concentrates for exports has continued uninterrupted and the company looks forward to achieving its target of 300 000 metric tonnes production for the year.
“The plan was for 300 000 tonnes of high chrome ore concentrates for export.
“The production of high-grade concentrates for exports has continued uninterrupted and the company looks forward to achieving its target of 300 000 metric tonnes production for 2020. As stated above the target for high grade chromite ore concentrates production remains unchanged,” she said.
Ms Sadomba said Zimasco has halted its smelting and related mining operations as it responded to the ripple effects of Covid-19, coupled with a weak global demand and resultant low prices for ferrochrome.
“As previously reported, at the end of March 2020, Zimasco temporarily halted its smelting and related mining operations in response to weak global demand and resultant low prices for ferrochrome which made continued production unviable.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in continued low demand and weak prices. Ferrochrome production and the associated chrome ore mining remains offline presently, with the organisation continuing to assess the prevailing situation.
“Should conditions improve to a state that will ensure viable ferrochrome production, the organisation will restart its ferrochrome production at Kwekwe, together with the associated chromite ore mining to support the smelting process,” she said.
Ms Sadomba said the company was also grappling with foreign currency shortages.
“At this stage, given the prevailing uncertainty in global economic conditions, it is difficult to indicate a new target for ferrochrome production for 2020,” she said.
Zimasco employs 2 030 people made up of 630 direct employees and 1 400 employed in downstream industries.