By Vimbai Kamoyo
Imagine a tonne of chrome being bought for a meagre US$12?
It might look imaginary but this is what chrome miners are getting for extractive 1000kgs of ore from buyers.
This has prompted Chrome miners to plead with government to put in place measures to safeguard their survival and promote the industry for it to grow and contribute to the good of the economy.
In an interview with ZiMining, Chrome miner Munashe Zana said their ore was being paid for a song.
He urged government to urgently put in place the chrome mining policy.
“Chrome mining industry is worrying in Zimbabwe. The government has been sitting on the chrome mining policy document for too long, we don’t know why. If they continue to sit of the policy document, it means our chrome will continue to be sold for a song.
“So urge government to hastily put it place the chrome mining policy that will address our concerns regarding how chrome is bought in the country,” he said.
Zana said chrome processing companies should embrace technology and improve their smelters to match international standards.
“The companies which are processing our chrome in the country should take an innovative approach to improve technology. We expect government to ensure that our local processing companies improve their smelters to match international standards so that our chrome is processed her and that will make us have a single pricing system unlike the current system where we have third party buyers buying our chrome for a song which is bad.
“The government should take an initiative to support chrome miners. We do not want free finance, we want finance which we can service and improve our equipment. We want the industry and us to be competitive in extracting chrome. We want the industry to improve with modern technology,” he said.
Zimbabwe Miners Federation Chief Executive Officer Wellingtton Takavarasha weighed in saying that the pricing committee was the panacea to chrome pricing distortions.
“One way to improve on the chrome marketing and selling is to have a vibrant pricing committee. There has been a pricing committee at the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe now which included ZMF and miners as well.
“If they meet regularly, this will go a long way in alleviating some of the prices we currently have. We know of a situation where the prices being offered are very low. It is part of the issue we have lobbied for as bulletin points so that government look into it so that miners fully benefit from the extraction of chrome,” he said