'Renewed interest in Zimbabwe's chrome sector'

'Renewed interest in Zimbabwe's chrome sector'
Published: 24 June 2015
There is renewed interest by investors in the chrome sector following the lifting of a ban on unprocessed ore exports, a cabinet minister has said.

Government two weeks ago reversed a four-year chrome ore export ban as well as scrapped a 20 percent export tax in a move that is expected to

revive the sector.

The ban had been imposed to encourage local beneficiation of the mineral to boost earnings.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the sector was "dead" but there was renewed interest after Government lifted the ban.

"The chrome sector was dead, this policy is going to resuscitate the sector," he said on Saturday.

"There has been renewed interest in mining chrome ore since the ban was lifted."

Permission to export unprocessed chrome is also benefit miners who had accumulated huge stockpiles when the ban was effected.

Chinamasa said over 2 000 jobs had been lost in the sector as most companies had scaled down or closed operations in the sector.

New jobs would be created as miners take advantage of the new rules, he said.

More than five companies shut down operations due to viability challenges after imposition of the ban but officials say some are expected to re-open while new players are also expected to venture into the sector.

To lessen the financial burden, the government also reduced electricity charges for chrome miners from 8 cents to 6,7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Twelve chrome ore producers are still operating. 
- New Ziana
Tags: Chrome, Chinamasa,


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