BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
MINES minister Winston Chitando has disclosed that government has not yet increased statutory mining fees, but was in the process of reviewing them.
“The long and short of it is mining fees have not been increased. There is a proposal discussion within the Mines ministry to review the mining fees but the process has not even taken off in terms of consultation within the ministry and government,” Chitando told a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday.
“However, there are discussions to review the mining fees and these discussions to review the mining fees will take a consultative process after which the increases will then be made public.”
According to a leaked document, government was proposing to increase mining fees across the board by 250%.
Chitando also said Zimbabwe is only supplying about 4% of chrome ores and 2,5% of ferrochrome despite holding the second largest chrome ore reserves in the world.
In 2018 output reached 350 000 tonnes, but government has plans to install new capacity to increase production by 20% to 418 000 tonnes.
Speaking at a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday, Chitando said Zimbabwe hoped to utilise the International Chromium Development Association (ICDA) conference being held in Victoria Falls, to boost chrome value addition and marketing.
“As a country, we hold around 12% to 15% of the world chrome resources, but at the same time, in terms of the production of chrome supplied to the world market, we only supply around 4% of chrome ores and around 2,5% of ferrochrome production,” Chitando said.
“So, there is a big mismatch between the percentage of resource we have and hold versus the world chromium resources and what we are supplying. So, there is potential to increase the production of ferrochrome and for it to play a key role in the development of the economy and towards the achievement of Vision 2030”.
Chitando said Zimbabwe, through the conference, hopes to generate the appetite to uplift the production of the ores and also of the value-added chrome products.
“We have well over 200 delegates coming from across the world who will be coming for this. The conference was way oversubscribed with still more than a week to go. The level of interest to attend this conference has been absolutely phenomenally, and we are pleased as government….,” he said.
He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa would officially open the conference on Wednesday.
The conference, which kicked off today, will end on Thursday.
“There will be an overview of international issues in terms of the market, supply situation and other chrome dynamics,” he said.
Chitando said he would deliver a paper on the opportunities chromium investments in Zimbabwe.
This is the first time that the conference would be held in Zimbabwe.