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Kuvimba pumps US$5m into ZimAlloys

The company has three furnaces at its Gweru smelting complex with a combined installed capacity of 120 000 tonnes per annum.

KUVIMBA Mining House (KMH) has pumped US$5 million into Zimbabwe Alloys (ZimAlloys), one of the country’s biggest producers of ferrochrome, as management works round the clock to resuscitate the firm.

The company has three furnaces at its Gweru smelting complex with a combined installed capacity of 120 000 tonnes per annum.

“For ZimAlloys, you are aware was in judicial management and it has just come out of judicial management and this is the second year and what we want to do in line with the mining industry objective and strategic focus is to make sure that we beneficiate,” KMH chief finance officer Innocent Rukweza told NewsDay Business.

“So, we're in the process of restarting the M1 furnace and over and above that we have acquired almost 70% of the things that are required for the A3 furnace, so that we can restart those furnaces.”

Rukweza said they had already started procuring long lead items or electrical components needed for the furnaces.

“These are huge consumers of power, so they have specialised equipment that we've already started procuring and there's a long lead time and we expect that they will be back online maybe early in 2024 and we can start smelting chrome to produce ferrochrome,” he said.

Rukweza added: “So far, at ZimAlloys we’ve pumped in excess of US$5 million as we speak and some of the work has been done during the judicial management processes and we are adding on to that.

“And we hope that we continue to invest to make sure that we come online and will benefit from chrome or that we are mining.”

A group led by John Brown Group established ZimAlloys in 1949. Anglo America Corporation took over control in 1965 and 40 years later sold it to Benscore Investments.

ZimAlloys was the first company in Africa to own a ferrochrome plant. The business owns approximately 20 000 hectares of chrome claims spread across the entire country, with proven resources totalling 72,25 million tonnes of chrome ore. Only 15% of its claims have been prospected.

Zimbabwe holds the world's second largest chrome ore reserves after South Africa.

Kuvimba has invested in rebuilding defunct mines in the past year, with interventions at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Shamva Gold Mine, Jena Mine, Elvington Mine and ZimAlloys to help them return to, or scale up production.

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