GWERU based ferrochrome processor Zimbabwe Alloys (ZimAlloys) is set to ramp up production on its metal recovery plant following the commissioning of a new jig at the company's dumpsite.
ZimAlloys, which is owned by a local business consortium Benscore led by Farai Rwodzi, has been processing its dumps, which have a metal recovery of about two to four percent, since 2013 after entering into a partnership with a Chinese firm, Jinan worth about US$2,3 million to process the dumps.
The agreement involves Jinan incurring the production costs before sharing of the metal proceeds.
Before the commissioning of the new jig, the partnership had 10 new jigs which produced 850 tonnes of ferro-chrome per month, with ZimAlloys getting 600 tonnes while the balance went to the Chinese company.
ZimAlloys general manager, Mike Dzinoreva said the newly commissioned jig has the capacity to produce 1 500 tonnes of metal per month.
"There has been a recent development where Jinan have now built a bigger plant with the capacity to produce 1 500 tonnes per month. It has just been commissioned and there will be product sharing in terms of our agreement. This means we will be able to produce more and export more which will benefit our country," he said.
"In terms of the metal recovery operations last year we have been achieving 600 tonnes from our various plants and in the first quarter of 2018 we expect that to ramp up to 1 430 per month as a result of Jinan's increased contribution which is going to increase to 750 tonnes," added Dzinoreva.
He said the company also seeks to increase production at one of its own jigs which will push production from 1 430 tonnes of ferrochrome per month in the first quarter to 1 880 tonnes of ferrochrome per month in the second quarter.
The Gweru-based ferrochrome processor has been under judicial management since 2013; it has been using the dump to sustain its operations and currently employs 300 workers.
The company has projected to increase its output to over 10 000 tonnes of the metal per month in the next five years on the back of the new investment from Indian firm, Balasore Alloys, which is expected to inject US$100 million in fresh capital to enable it to pay off creditors and see operations reaching full throttle in the next 18 months.