Enacy Mapakame, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe has geared up for the International Chromium Development Association (ICDA) conference in India where the country will tell its story to the international community and lure potential investors.
The conference, that will be held in New Delhi next month, brings together all stakeholders in the chromium industry — miners, smelters, stainless steel makers, financiers as well as suppliers of machinery and other raw materials.
Zimbabwe’s role in the chrome sector cannot be overlooked as it is home to the world’s second largest chrome reserves after South Africa and its participation at the conference will also present a chance to highlight what the country has to offer, its rich mineral wealth as well as present an opportunity for development and investment in the country’s mining sector.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura, said this will be an opportunity to network with giants in the industry, share knowledge on latest trends as well as new technologies necessary for improving operations.
This will further project the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra with anticipations to strike investment deals.
“All players in the chrome industry gather together, share ideas, technology and new markets,” he said in an interview after tour of two of the country’s top smelters — Afrochine in Ngezi and Jin An in Gweru. The tours were in preparation for the ICDA conference.
“This is where we are able to interact with potential investors as well as get appreciation of new technologies like the ones here (Jin An) which is the first of its kind here in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Zimbabwe hosted the previous conference in Victoria Falls also served as an eye opener to the international community as they had first hand information on the vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe’s mining industry, as opposed to the negative publicity that is peddled by the country’s detractors.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said: “We are going to India following the conference which we hosted in Victoria Falls.
“There have been a lot of negative reports about Zimbabwe but we showed the world that we are open for business.
“All the players came in and discovered we have lots of resources. The international community had first-hand information from investors such as Karo Resources, Afrochine, Jin An and all the other chrome smelters around the country. So this one is an opportunity for us to project Zimbabwe in positive light.”
Zimbabwe has the second largest chrome ore resource at an estimated 900 million tonnes while global resources are at 7,5 billion tonnes.
In 2018 Zimbabwe produced an estimated 1 358 million tonnes of ore against a global total of 33,7 million that’s accounting for 4 percent of global output.
More exploration in the sector is required creating scope for the country to lure more investors in the sector.