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Mega chrome project takes shape



Photo: Shutterstock

 18 MAY, 2021 


Enacy Mapakame

THE Government’s plans to grow mining to a U$12 billion industry by 2023 are taking shape with the rolling out of a new multimillion dollar steel and ferro chrome project by Afrochine.


Construction of the country’s single biggest production operation in the country is now underway in Chivhu, 150 kilometers south of the capital city Harare in Mashonaland east province.

The ferrochrome project is scheduled to commence in the second half of this year and it is expected to be the biggest operation of its kind in the country and probably in the SADC region.


Over the weekend, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Minister of State for Mashonaland East Aplonia Munzverengwi visited the site of the mega project.

The composite projects will entail a carbon steel plant, an iron ore mine and processing plant as well as a ferrochrome production plant with an annual production capacity of 500 000 tonnes.


Speaking to journalists during the site visit, Minister Chitando said the implementation of the project will entail multi-stakeholder engagements as the project cuts across various Government ministries.

For instance, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will be roped in for the development of road and rail infrastructure to link the project site with Mvuma.

Similarly, Ministries of Finance and economic Development, Lands, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Energy and Power Development, Local Government, National Housing and Public Works will be critical.

“The whole idea here is to have an area of about 2 000 hectares where a number of things will happen.

The first is the carbon steel plant, which is about one and half kilometers, then there is also next to it a ferrochrome plant, which will generate 500 000 tonnes of ferrochrome.

Zimasco produces around 150 000 tonnes. “So this will be three times the size of Zimasco. Then there is an iron ore mine and iron ore plant.

The total turnover of this whole project will be 1,5 billion tonnes, bigger than Zimplats and any other project you can think of, so that’s really the whole grand plan.

“What we now need to do with that plan is to engage all stakeholders,” said Minister Chitando. The mega project also supports the value addition and beneficiation initiatives, which will boost earnings as opposed to exporting raw ferrochrome.

This will also boost employment creation in the country. Afrochine managing director Benson Xu said the 1,5km long and 600m wide processing plant and entire project will create jobs for the community.”

Steel processing players and others in the value chain are expected to come into Chivhu and also grow the industry,” he said.

AfroChine has several other investments  in the country such as those in Selous and Hwange where there are four projects with one of them expected to be officially commissioned by President Mnangagwa in July.

It is anticipated that the chairman for Tsingshan (Afrochine’s parent company) will visit the country in July for high level engagements with the President Mnangagwa and will have four programmes.

The first programme will have two furnaces in Selous, while the second in Hwange will entail a 150 000 tonne coke battery first and a further 150 000 tonne in the second phase.

“Thereafter, ground breaking of the Chivhu project will follow. The fourth phase will see the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the full implementation of the Chivhu project.

“By then we should have finished all the consultations with the ministries and the offices of the Minister of State.

“So we have got tight timelines to do the necessary consultations so that we also get on the ground, and by mid July there is some work which would have taken place,” said Minister Chitando.

Zimbabwe is home to the second largest chrome ore resources with an estimated 900 million tonnes while global resources are at 7,5 billion tonnes, making chrome a key growth node.

In 2019, the Government indicated plans to process the issuance of claims for chrome smelters to enhance their production and boost their exports contributions to the anticipated US$12 billion revenue.

This came after smelters made a passionate plea to Government for issuance of claims to endnote them to have adequate feed for their plants which were currently not relisting full potential due to insufficient raw material.

The implementation of the project is also expected to transform Chivhu into a vibrant town with enhanced infrastructure such as housing.

“I believe they had already planned for a town in the Chivhu area for their employees and other developments because what we want to see also are for Chivhu to grow because of those companies coming now and who are close to Chivhu.

“Currently, we do not have enough space here for accommodation, for recreational and other facilities. These are the issues that we will now discuss, to see their plan and what else they can do apart from the mining and the processing,” said Minister Munzverengwi.

Afrochine is now the country’s biggest chrome smelter and is a subsidiary of Tsingshan which produces 25 percent of global steel.

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Africa Finance Corporation – Changing the Narrative on Africa



Africa is on a major growth trajectory and the future belongs to Africa .


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New luxurious Vic Falls hotel close to opening




from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – THE multimillion dollar hotel that is the latest such facility in the prime resort town is set to open its doors in the Victoria Falls in July.


Spencers Creek is building the Palm River Hotel on the edge of the Zambezi River, at a cost of US$24,6 million.

The 71-room four-star hotel, built in partnership with Old Mutual Zimbabwe, targets high end travelers to Zimbabwe’s tourism capital.


Spencers Creek already runs Ilala Lodge Hotel group, another luxurious facility, in the town.

Heather Kay, the Ilala Lodge general manager, said the new hotel would comprise 60 deluxe rooms, two deluxe suites, two honeymoon suites, two family suites, three executive suites, one presidential suite and one Palm River Villa inclusive of three bedrooms.


It is also sensitive to disability as it includes two wheelchair accessible rooms.

“Construction of Block A (Acacia) and Block B (Baobab) made up of predominantly Deluxe rooms and a Presidential Suite, together with a refreshing 20-metre infinity pool are now complete and await the arrival of the first guests,” Kay said.


She said Block C (Combretum) and the main area including the reception, dining hall, bar and fresco restaurant are currently receiving the last of their final touches in preparation for the opening.

Block D (Duiker-berry), Block E (Ebony) and Block F (Fig) are being constructed and expected to be finished this November.

Kay said the hotel is elegantly appointed with comfort and space in mind and the interior design of the rooms is focused on bringing the stylish use of natural tones, locally sourced materials and artwork reflective of the area together.

She said the tastefully modern style of the Queenslander is reflected in the inside as well as the outside, giving a new sense of luxury in the resort city providing guests with comfortable modern convenience.

A river deck on the edge of Zambezi and a large alfresco dining area under a canopy of trees offering an A’la carte service, an outdoor bar, conferencing and events facilities, a pool that transforms into a star wonder-lit completes the luxury.

Palm River has made plans for a shuttle to transport clients between town and the lodge via some areas of interest such as the rainforest, Big Tree, Victoria Falls Bridge and Zambezi National Park.

The Palm hotel is one of a number of tourism developments in Victoria Falls.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the site before construction last year in August.

Construction was delayed by challenges posed by COVID-19.

Recently built lodges in the area include Shearwater Village Explorer, Wild Horizon’s Old Drift and Mbano Manor Hotel and Mpala Jena Camp.

– CAJ News

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De-risking the World’s Future Growth Engine:

African Trade Insurance (ATI) joins The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business




n our 27-year history as a Chamber of Business (, the latest range of risk insurance instruments from the African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency is a major leap forward for Canadian institutional investors and African countries – standing to unlock billions in investment capital.


ATI facilitates inward investment in Africa by providing insurance against trade and investment risks. This month the organization joined The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

‘ATI is a game-changer. From discussions with private equity and pension fund representatives, ATI has the potential to ensure both the perceived and real risks on the continent are well-managed; ensuring investment committees can proceed on deals that until recently may have been deemed too risky,’ says Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of the Board, Chair of the Board at The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.


The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business invites interested parties to learn more.

Join us on Thursday 20 May 2021 at 10:00 ET/ 16:00 CAT / 17:00 EAT


View the Full Virtual Program (



ATI has a good market position in Africa, based on the scale of its underwriting penetration and benefits from significant local expertise and understanding in a number of African countries. It currently insures trade and investments worth over USD6 billion or an average of 1-2% of GDP annually in its African member countries. ATI’s partners and clients include African Governments, lenders, traders (both domestic & international) and project developers.

‘It has become increasingly clear that to achieve “the Africa we want” the role of private sector must become central in mobilizing the needed resources. Alliances like this one present excellent opportunities to address the development challenges facing our region.’ – Manuel Moses, Chief Executive Officer, ATI

‘During my career on Bay Street, it was clear solutions were needed to unlock the billions of investable capital in Canada. ATI has since developed a suite of products that in my view has dramatically changed the landscape in recent years’  – Deepak Dave, Chief Risk Officer, ATI

ATI’s African Member states contribute, along with international governments, multilaterals and private sector to the pool of capital underwriting investments, without holding any influence over ATI operations. The Nairobi-based multilateral has maintained an ‘A/Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor’s, and in 2019, ATI obtained an A3/Stable rating from Moody’s.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

For More Information:
Garreth Bloor
The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business
Tel: +1.647.667.1223
Manulife Building RTO
55 Bloor Street West
PO Box 19553
Ontario M4W 3T9

About The African Trade Insurance Agency:
ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover the trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides Political Risk, Credit Insurance and, Surety Insurance. In 2020, ATI closed the year with a gross exposure of US$6.3 billion and a net profit of US$39.4 million, owing to a strong demand for ATI’s insurance solutions from the international financial sector and from African governments. Since inception, ATI has supported US$66 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa.

About The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business:
The Chamber is committed to accelerating trade, business and investment between Canada and African markets, through world-class networking and information sharing opportunities.

Founded in 1994, the Chamber is based in Toronto and Ottawa, with members located throughout Canada and African markets.

The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit organization with strong working links with both Canadian and African businesses and governments.

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