Cabinet has approved an immediate ban on all exports of unprocessed chrome ore in order to protect the ferrochrome industry, which it says is integral in the country’s attainment of an envisioned US$12 billion industry by 2023.
Announcing the latest strategy to boost the mining sector during Tuesday’s post Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said the moratorium on raw chrome ore exports would promote the local value-addition chain.
“In light of the need to safeguard the ferrochrome industry in the above regard, Cabinet approved a total ban on exports of raw chrome ore with immediate effect. The ban will capacitate current smelters and maximise the value chain to be realised from the country’s abundant resources as spelt out in the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1,” she said.
As a measure to further hedge the industry, the external trade in chrome concentrates will be stopped effective July next year.
Said Mutsvangwa: “Cabinet approved the total ban of export of chrome concentrates with effect from July 2022. This gives producers of chrome concentrates a year within which to make suitable arrangements for the value addition of the concentrates, the investment of which is low capital cost and relatively easy.”
“Accordingly, exports of any consignment of raw chrome will only be allowed provided that all the smelters are not in a position to take up and utilise that particular consignment.”
Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando told Cabinet these initiatives, among others in the gold sub-sector, will spur the nation to achieve a US$12 billion mining industry in two years’ time.
Zimbabwe is endowed with arguably the world’s second biggest resources of chrome ore which is required for metallurgical processes such as steel manufacturing. □