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China invests in Zimbabwe chrome

Chrome ore piles stacked
in two-tonne lots at
the Zimasco chrome
operation in Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 July 2008 – A leading Chinese mining group has agreed to spend US$200 (R1.6 billion) on establishing two chrome mines in Zimbabwe.

Reporting from the Zimbabwean capital, Bloomberg News quoted the Financial Gazette as saying that Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation of China has committed itself to this investment.

The Harare-based weekly newspaper said on its website that the company would develop one mine in the Midlands province and another in the Zambezi valley. Both mining deposits were currently held by the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which would retain a stake in the operations.

This development follows the announcement at the end of last year that Sino-steel Corporation – China’s biggest chrome importer – had acquired a 92% stake in Zimasco Consolidated Enterprises Limited, the Mauritius-based holding company of Zimbabwe’s Zimasco.

Under the deal, Sino-steel has the option to buy the remaining 8% of ZCE over the next two and a half years. Zimasco is Zimbabwe’s largest chrome producer with annual refined chrome output of around 592 000 tonnes.