BUSINESS WRITER 4 February 2017
HARARE – Government has expropriated half of Zim Alloys’ land for
distribution to small-scale indigenous players in the chrome mining
Mines minister Walter Chidakwa said while the discussions had been “tough
and full of problems” the former Anglo-American subsidiary chrome miner
was not objecting to the land grab.
“Naturally, when a company holds land they will naturally be problems, but
they have literally been sitting on the concessions, and from their
50-year plans we established they will not use the land in the next 100 or
200 years,” he said.
“But we hope that as they see us making this statement they will be
convinced that we mean business,” the Zanu PF legislator added.
Last week, the country’s largest chrome miner posted an advert scouting
for a new investor, despite Chidakwa’s intention of compulsorily acquiring
22 000 hectares of land claims from the ferrochrome producer.
“This invitation is not a prospectus and does not constitute or form part
of any solicitation or invitation or any offer to the public to purchase
the company or to subscribe to any ordinary shares in Zim Alloys,” the
company’s judicial manager said in a notice.
Zim Alloys holds a total of 39 175 hectares while Zimasco, the bigger of
the two firms, last year conceded and surrendered 22 700 hectares out of
its total claims covering 45 900 ha to government.
The two companies jointly control about 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome
ore claims, mostly found along the Great Dyke.
Chidakwa pointed out that the State, which owns all land under the
country’s a new Mines and Minerals Act, wanted to give the ground to black
Zimbabweans who needed it.
Zim Alloys – until 2003 an Anglo American subsidiary – was purchased by a
consortium of local businessmen including banker Farai Rwodzi and Savanna
Tobacco founder Adam Molai in 2006.
The company has since last year been pressed to relinquish its land and
initially offered 20 percent of its total hectarage, demanding
compensation for some work done to develop some claims, as well as some
immovable equipment on underground claims.
Chidakwa, however, threw out the chrome miner’s proposal.
On May 30, 2016, the Mines ministry wrote to Zim Alloys, giving the
company up to June 7 to hand over half its claims, or risk having them