Zimbabwe: Chinese Buyers Exploiting Chrome Miners

Source:ALLAFRICA 

SMALL scale chrome miners are singing the blues because buyers from China who are now dominating the market are driving a hard bargain.

The Chinese buyers are buying a tonne of chrome for as little US$10.

Last year, prices of chrome ranged between US$30 and US$40 per tonne.

Following the closure of the Zimbabwe Iron and Smelting Company (ZIMASCO) in December last year, the Chinese are now calling the shots in the market.

With no other major buyers in sight, the Chinese buyers are dictating the price -- forcing sellers to part with their product at giveaway prices.

Interestingly, after driving prices to current levels, the Chinese buyers have strategically retreated to the sidelines in order to create an oversupply of the product, which will in turn push prices further downhill.

Industry players say it costs about US$55 to extract a tonne of chrome and delivering it to the buyer.

Small scale chrome miners are, therefore, crying foul and have no kind words for the Chinese buyers whom they are accusing of impoverishing them.

Miners have been accusing buyers from the Far East of manipulating chrome tonnages to their detriment.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation spokesperson, Dosman Mangisi, confirmed last week that Chinese buyers had forced prices to go below cost recovery levels.

"The Chinese have monopoly over buying of chrome so we are trying by all means to arrest the situation. We had a meeting that sought to come up with ways of cushioning our miners," Mangisi told the Financial Gazette a fortnight ago.

He said the federation was working with government to save the interests of chrome miners while at the same time inviting other buyers to enter the market and hopefully offer better prices.

Mangisi said a Special Purpose Vehicle has since been created by government to connect miners to buyers, although there is disquiet among small scale players over its effectiveness.

"We are casting our net wider, engaging other buyers. And we are also saying that those miners who think they have the capacity to value add, let them come on board," he said.

Minrod Mashaya, a chrome miner in Shurugwi, said mining was no longer viable.

"These Chinese change the tonnage to suit themselves and pay us meagre sums for our hard work. The costs related to the extraction and delivery (of chrome) far outweigh the money we get," he said.

"There is speculation that the prices are going to be reduced further and this is not a good way to begin the year. Government should act fast."

Lovemore Magura, a chrome miner in Mashava, said the plight of miners was getting desperate.

Magura is one of the small scale chrome miners who are considering quitting the business owing to poor prices.

It appears that it never rains but pours for chrome miners.

Last year, chrome miners breathed a sigh of relief when government lifted a ban on raw chrome exports.

That joy was short lived when ZIMASCO's furnaces went silent late last year.

Even when ZIMASCO was still operational there were still complaints over the exploitation of chrome miners by foreign buyers who are dictating prices and paying late, while charging a raft of other taxes.

"It is like jumping from a frying pan onto the fire," remarked Isaac Chivendera, the district chairperson of Shurugwi small scale miners.

Buyers argue that the issue of prices is beyond their control.

They cite the falling international prices of metals, including chrome, as having contributed to the misery facing all chrome miners.

Even some of the Chinese companies that were in the business of extracting chrome have also suspended production owing to ebbing international prices.

 

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 |



Tanzanian president splits energy and mining in ministry shake-up

  1. DAR ES SALAAM, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Tanzanian president John Magufuli split the energy and minerals ministry in two and appointed heads for the new ministries on Saturday, five months after sacking the p…
  2. {read by 39 people}


Tanzania: One Killed, Another Cheats Death Following Mine Accident in Geita

  1. Geita - A small-scale miner has been killed after he was trapped in a collapsed mine at Lwamgasa Village in Geita Rural District on Tuesday. The body of the victim was found Thursday following resc…
  2. {read by 24 people}


Tanzania to auction tanzanite from its source to curb smuggling

  1. Tanzania is expected to auction tanzanite in the mining site of Mererani on Saturday in efforts to sell the gemstones on its source to make the east African nation benefit from its natural resources. …
  2. {read by 37 people}


Two die in attack to Avocet Mining's convoy in Burkina Faso

  1. West Africa-focused Avocet Mining said Wednesday that two paramilitary police officers were killed and other two suffer injuries after unknown aggressors assaulted a convoy carrying fuel to its Inata …
  2. {read by 52 people}


Congo reinstates VAT on imports for mining companies

  1. KINSHASA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Congo has reinstated a value added tax on mining company imports, the chamber of mines said on Saturday, part of what miners say is a deteriorating business climate in the…
  2. {read by 55 people}


Ghana's gold, diamond output to drop as govt curbs small-scale mining

  1. PANAJI, India, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Ghana's gold output is likely to drop sharply in 2017 because of curbs on the small-scale mining that lifted production last year but was causing damage to the enviro…
  2. {read by 130 people}



khjg