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:: Selous Chrome Smelter Complete
The construction of a US$25 million chrome smelter in Selous has been completed in a move that will increase value addition of raw chrome.
The smelter, which was built by a Chinese company, Afrochine Smelting under phase one of the project, has two furnaces and a capacity of processing 50 000 tonnes of ferrochrome. The plant will soon become operational, employing about 300 workers.
Speaking at the company’s business launch, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha said the construction of the smelter will go a long way in increasing revenue from chrome through value addition which is in line with government’s value addition strategy.
The Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Lin Lin said the creation of smelters bears testimony that co-operation between Zimbabwe and China is positively aiding the development of local industry.
Construction of four more smelters valued at US$100 million has already begun under phase two of the venture which was granted a national project status.
Upon completion, which is scheduled for the year 2015, the four smelters will have additional capacity of 250 000 tonnes of ferrochrome per year, creating employment for over 1000 people.
The government banned raw chrome exports in 2011 but the few companies with smelters do not have the capacity to absorb all the raw chrome mined locally, leaving several small scale miners out of employment.
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