Harare, Zimbabwe — 14 September 2012 – The government of Zimbabwe probably won’t consider lifting an export ban on chrome, which means that domestic producers are being encouraged to process the metal locally, says mines minister Obert Mpofu.
Bloomberg News reports that the southern African nation stopped shipments of chrome in April 2011 to boost domestic processing capacity. In May this year, Mpofu said the country might consider lifting the restriction.
“I don’t think we will even consider lifting the ban on chrome exports,” he told a mining conference here. “We can only encourage development of refineries and smelters. It is not a good strategy to allow raw exports of anything.”
Zimbabwe, along with South Africa, holds about 90% of the world’s chromite reserves and resources, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Zimbabwe has three large-scale ferrochrome miners, including Zimbabwe Alloys and Zimasco, owned by China’s Sinosteel Corp. The country already has three smelters that can process 1.5Mt of chrome annually, according to the Mines Ministry.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.