Fertiliser firm diversifies into mining

Fertiliser firm diversifies into mining

ZIMBABWE Fertiliser Company (ZFC), a fertiliser and agrochemical concern, has applied for a mining licence in an effort to diversify its business, NewsDay Business has learnt.

ZFC is Zimbabwe's largest manufacturer and supplier of fertilisers and agricultural chemicals.

According to a Government Gazette dated April 21, 2023, ZFC applied to the Mining Affairs Board (MAB), under the Mines and Mining Development ministry, which is responsible for granting certain mining rights.

“It is hereby notified, in terms of section 87(4) of the Mines and Minerals Act [Chapter 21:05] that Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (Private) Limited has applied to the Mining Affairs Board for an exclusive prospecting order, over an area described in the schedule, in the Masvingo Mining District, in relation to map reference Masvingo SF-36-1 Edition 3 and of the scale 1: 250 000, produced by the Surveyor-General,” the Government Gazette read.

“The applicant intends to prospect for gold, chrome and limestone within the area which has been reserved against prospecting pending determination of this application. Prospecting authority is sought upon registered base mineral blocks within the reservation.” “The board (MAB) is responsible for the granting of certain mining rights, the withdrawal or cancellation of such rights, the approval of certain agreements and transaction in the mining sector, and making recommendations to the Minister and/or President with respect to the granting or withdrawal of certain mining titles.”

In April 2021, ZFC Limited managing director Richard Dafana told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture which was touring the firm's facilities that foreign currency shortages were crippling its operations.

He said the foreign currency auction system benefitted small users of foreign currency whereas for fertiliser it was not the same because these firms required more forex.

Thus, venturing into mining would allow the firm to source foreign currency more easily, the company reckons.

The global fertiliser industry is underperforming due to increased international prices of raw materials owing to the ongoing Ukraine war, depreciation of the local currency and foreign currency challenges.


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