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Stainless steel production in Zimbabwe a possibility

In his presentation at the recent mining beneficiation conference held at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, John Parker, acting MD of SNC-Lavalin’s Johannesburg office, said stainless steel production has the potential to contribute to that country’s economy. A Mining Review Africa exclusive.

“The conference focused on identifying ways to make Zimbabwe’s mining sector a key driver of economic growth and stainless steel is an obvious choice,” Parker comments. “Zimbabwe is already a nickel and ferrochrome producer, which makes it feasible for the country to produce stainless steel, which would be a value-added product that is in line with the government’s beneficiation strategy.”

In his opinion paper, Parker says stainless steel has great future growth potential and many niche markets in Zimbabwe. The country already has an established history of nickel mining and refining at its Empress and Bindura facilities, as well as the Zimplats refinery. Known prime nickel resources include the Trojan, Shangani and Hunters Road nickel mines, together hosting approximately 386 000 t in reserves and resources. In addition, nickel as a by-product of local Platinum Group Metal (PGM) production is estimated to be 10 000 tpa.

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