$100 million investment for ZimAlloys
GIANT ferrochrome producer, Zimbabwe Alloys is on the verge of sealing a deal with an Indian investor expected to inject more than $100 million into the Gweru-based chrome smelter.
In an interview, ZimAlloys judicial manager Mr Reggie Saruchera said the deal which will see the company resuming production was likely to be finalised within the next two months. Mr Saruchera said the two parties were working on the modalities which will see production resuming including switching on of the blast furnaces.
“We are still finalising the paper work and we are hoping that we will be able to conclude the deal within the next two months. While I am not at liberty to identify the new investor for fear of jeopardising the deal, we are in negotiations with these investors and we are expecting to conclude the deal within the next two months. ZimAlloys is my priority at the moment because I have revived the Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) and my focus is now on this deal. We are definitely going to resuscitate ZimAlloys,” he said.
The company is working on their dump which is inclusive of one commissioned in 2013 in a partnership with a Chinese firm, JinAn in a deal worth about $2,3 million. Benscore, 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 firm was placed under judicial management in 2013 as weak commodity prices and lack of capital affected the business’ viability. 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.
In a separate interview, Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Cde Jason Machaya said the two parties were discussing on the modalities of taking over the chrome smelting company and would soon scale up production once the deal has been concluded.
Minister Machaya said once the deal was sealed the Indian company would take over operations at ZimAlloys which has been limping since Government imposed a ban on the exportation of chrome ore as well as dwindling markets and plummeting prices on the global market.
He said the company that will take over operations will inject a financial package which will see all the smelters at the ferrochrome company coming into line. Minister Machaya said the revival of ZimAlloys will contribute significantly towards employment creation as well as the accomplishing of the $3 billion mineral export target.