Zim hosts oversubscribed international chrome association meeting

06 May, 2019 - 14:05 0 Views
Zim hosts oversubscribed international chrome association meeting Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando

eBusiness Weekly

HARARE – Zimbabwe this week hosts the 35th  annual conference of the International Chromium Development  Association (ICDA) in the resort town of Victoria Falls, with over 200  international delegates expected to attend, a cabinet minister said on  Sunday.

Established in 1984, the ICDA promotes and provides support for the  global chromium industry and represents the interests of chrome ore  and ferrochrome producers, customers and other entities in  the value chain.

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando said the  meeting, which runs from 7 to 9 May, is expected to be opened by  President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday.

“More than 200 international delegates from mining and related sectors  will attend the conference which has been over-subscribed,” Chitando  told the Sunday Mail newspaper.

Besides tackling issues related to the industry on a global scale, the  minister said: “The conference will highlight the importance of  Zimbabwe in the chromium industry and will provide an opportunity to  promote Zimbabwe’s rich mineral resources and the opportunity for the  development and investment in Zimbabwe’s mining sector.”

To show the high interest in attendance in the conference, the ICDA,  on its website, said it was no longer taking new participants for the  Victoria Falls meeting as it was “fully booked” and encouraged those  interested to start registering for its next conference set for  November in New Delhi, India.

Among key questions expected to be answered at this year’s conference,  the ICDA said, was: “Will 2019 mark the resurgence of Zimbabwe in the  global chromium market? Increasing beneficiation, developing stainless  steel industry locally, what is the strategy of the country holding  the second largest chrome ore reserves in the world?”

With over 60 minerals found in the country, the bulk of which are yet  to be beneficially exploited, Zimbabwe is ranked as the second in the  world, after South Africa, in terms of chrome ore resources.

While both chrome and ferrochrome production are still relatively low,  increasing investment in the industry in the past few years has seen  output  growing  to  1.358  million tonnes of chrome in 2018 from around 186 000 tonnes.

Ferrochrome production on the other hand, is this year expected to  jump to 418 000 tonnes from 350 000 last year.

At current production, Zimbabwe is contributing four percent and 2.5  percent respectively to global chrome and ferrochrome production.

Chitando said the target was to hike ferrochrome output to 956 000  tonnes by 2022 in line with government’s 2030 vision.

Increased production in the chrome sector, will be key in the  envisaged set up of a stainless steel plant in the country, which will  utilise the output from that sector as a key raw material. – New Ziana

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