THE country’s chrome mining sector is poised for growth as Government forges ahead with plans to partner the private sector in opening more processing plants to boost local steel manufacturing industry.
There are only six ferrochrome processing plants and Government wants to extend them to eleven by 2025.
The need to establish processing plants comes as the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development moves in to capacitate as many artisanal and small-scale miners in the chrome mining business. In the National Development Strategy (NDS1), the Government noted that setting up of ferrochrome smelters was expensive and most small-scale miners will find it hard to invest in the sector.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kanambura, in an interview, said Government was working on increasing ferrochrome processing plants capacity, buoyed by the increase in demand and prices internationally.
“The grand idea is to have more processing plants so as to maximise mineral beneficiation. The situation at hand is not pleasing because the country is losing revenue. When we have more processing plants, jobs will be created. More importantly, the local steel manufacturing industry is going to benefit.”
Chrome mining continues to be affected by global Covid-19 lockdowns but anticipation of a better year is high as experts forecast a gradual rise in chrome prices. Dep Minister Kanambura said the private sector was welcome to put forward their expressions of interests to invest in the establishment of chrome processing plants.
“The Government is committed to the public private partnership strategy to enhance mineral beneficiation,” he said.
The Sunday News