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04 Apr 12 Govt in Bid to Assist Small-Scale Chrome Miners

The Government is encouraging small-scale miners to find partners to set up smelters as it maintains the ban on exports of raw chrome. The Government banned the export of raw chrome in 2010 as it stepped up efforts to add value to minerals since they are finite resources. Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire told New Ziana the Government was prioritising value addition of all minerals for the country to derive maximum benefit.

“The mineral was being exported to the region and international markets yet the country was getting little in terms of revenue,” he said.

Mr Chimanikire said the Government had a responsibility to ensure that the country benefited from its minerals since they did not replenish once exploited.

Since the ban on raw chrome exports small-scale miners have stock-piled over 25 000 tonnes citing financial constraints to establish smelting plants which cost at least US$5 million to set up.

Mr Chimanikire said the Government would assist the small-scale miners and large companies to set up smelters.

“We will assist them to get partners as well as acquire equipment to increase production,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Chimanikire said the Government would soon distribute equipment to small-scale miners under the mechanisation programme to enhance their operations.

He said the distribution would be biased towards women involved in mining since they usually faced difficulties accessing loans.

The equipment included compressors, water pumps and generators. — New Ziana.

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