A CHINESE steel company Tsingsham Steel yesterday asked Parliament to come up with favourable laws and incentives to attract investment in chrome mining and urged the government to lift the ban on chrome exports.
BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Tsingsham Steel representative Xu Kemin made the call during a legislators’ workshop in Harare where he also pointed out that decision-making processes on investment needed to be speeded up.
“There is need for favourable mining laws and MPs must come up with the requisite legislative framework in which investors are not afraid to inject their capital in Zimbabwe,” Xu said.
“We implore that decision- making processes on issues referred to the parliamentarians should be executed very fast because time is money, and the investor many a time is made to wait longer than is necessary before a key decision is made by the government.”
Xu said companies with smelters should be allowed to export raw chrome as a bonus so that the revenue accrued from that could be channelled towards increasing smelter capacity in Zimbabwe.
He said they were also planning to construct a metallurgical industrial zone, Tsingshan Industrial Park Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the same function, Zimasco services director Roger Williams said only nine companies had chrome smelters, and six were operational in 2013 with 160 000 tonnes produced which attracted revenue of $175 million.
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Williams said Zimbabwe produced 12% of the 1, 4 billion tonnes of world chrome resources, but the industry faced challenges in archaic smelters, 25% to 40% production costs going towards electricity, need for exploration and mapping system for claims and enough electricity supplies.
Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo said it was very difficult to get investment in electricity as it needed more than half a billion dollars, adding the country should now look at other sources like wind energy while households should help save energy by using gas for cooking.