Chrome, nickel rebound

Chrome, nickel rebound
Published: 05 July 2018
NICKEL and chrome rebounded in the first three months of the year, buoyed by recovering international prices, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said.

Latest central bank data indicates that nickel output in the first quarter of 2018 - at 4 747 tonnes - was 18 percent higher than the 4 010 tonnes produced in the same period in 2017.

Similarly, chrome output increased by 25 percent to 411 446 tonnes in the first three months of 2018, from 329 232 tonnes in the same period in 2017.

"Output from both primary and secondary producers increased. Primary producers increased throughput by 43 percent, compared to the same period in 2017 due to improved plant and equipment availability.

"Primary production contributed about 41,7 percent of output in the first quarter of 2018. Secondary producers increased output by an average of four percent, compared to same period in 2017, and contributed 58,3 percent of total output during the period under review," the apex bank said in its monthly report for March.

According to the report, nickel production benefited from improved international prices of the commodity, which have been firming since the second quarter of 2017.

For chrome, RBZ attributed the production increase to improvements in ore volumes exported as producers pushed volumes to offset the negative impact of declining prices.

"High carbon-ferrochrome exports declined by six percent in the 2018 first quarter compared to same period in 2017 in line with declining prices," the bank said.

This also comes as Zimbabwe last year embarked on a re-distribution programme for idle chrome mines acquired from the country's biggest chrome producer, ZIMASCO.

In the re-distribution of ZIMASCO land, 5 746 ha went to the Zimbabwe Geological Survey, 7 000 ha to medium scale beneficiation plants and new smelters, according to former mines minister Walter Chidakwa.

Chidakwa is on record saying small-scale miners, who include individuals, special interest groups like war veterans, women and the youth received 10 000 ha to empower marginalised groups and indigenisation.

The Mines Ministry is also in talks with ZimAlloys ― which holds 39 175 ha of ground ― for the former Anglo-American subsidiary to cede 22 000 ha for re-distribution to small-scale miners.

Following the release of chrome claims by ZIMASCO to government, and the subsequent gazetting of the entire Great Dyke as a reserved area, chrome mining is now accessed by means of special grants.
- fingaz
Tags: Chrome,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs