MORE than 350 locals are set to be employed at a Chinese chrome smelting company that is being set up in Mashava, Masvingo while small-scale miners around the area are set to benefit from the new market.
This was revealed during a tour of the US$70 million smelting company owned by Zimbabwe Zhongxin Smelting Company (ZZSC) in partnership with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces last week. The project which started last year in March will see the first phase coming online in September while the second phase will be completed after 18 months.
Speaking after the tour of the plant, Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Ezra Chadzamira said the plant was one of the biggest investment projects in Masvingo that will also help boost the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We are very delighted today to have this familiarisation tour because this investment is one of the major investments we have experienced in the New Dispensation. As Masvingo we are targeting the mining sector as one of the sectors which is going to contribute more to the provincial economic growth.
“The company is going to benefit the community immensely in employment where we are going to see about 350 people working on the site and we are going to see small-scale miners benefiting since they now have the market to sell their chrome as they used to go as Zvishavane and Kwekwe in the Midlands. The coming of this company on board means it is going to be cheaper for the small-scale mine to reach the market,” he said.
Zimbabwe Zhongxin Smelting Company deputy general manager Mr Steve Li said his company was assessing the situation on the ground with the hope of setting up a central point where small-scale miners will be able to load their chrome.
“We think it is necessary that we find a good solution with the small-scale miners that will guarantee the supply of chrome ore while on the other hand assisting small miners to make profits for themselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cde Chadzamira said that with the coming in of devolution Masvingo will be able to meet the middle-income economy by 2030. Currently the GDP for the province is marked at $1,8 billion with the province optimistic to raise it to $8 billion by 2030.