$100 mil­lion in­vest­ment for ZimAl­loys

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Mun­yaradzi Musi­iwa Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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