Top executives from South Africa’s Moti Group met President
Emmerson Mnangagwa and other senior government officials over its Midlands-based
African Chrome Fields (ACF) operations and to express commitment on the project
despite the prevailing economic challenges, Business Times has learnt.
The meeting comes after there were several reports that the
Group was considering pulling out of Zimbabwe due to the deteriorating economic
ACF spokesperson and project liaison director Ashruf Kaka
confirmed meeting President Mnangagwa and Mines and Mining Development Minister
Winston Chitando to reassure them ACF was here to stay.
The Group said in the past five years ACF has established
six sites incorporating the 15 spiral plants, together with supporting permanent
infrastructure including roads, dams and boreholes – all spanning over
approximately 34 km along the Great Dyke.
This, it said, was achieved in remote conditions with
limited access to resources. At its peak, ACF directly employed approximately
Kaka said like other mining operators, ACF was required to
rationalise its operations and adapt to the trying circumstances.
“We reduced operations to an extent and continue to attend
to the necessary care and maintenance of the remainder of the operating plants
such that we can upscale when the economic conditions improve,” Kaka said.
The fluctuation in the currency also negatively impacted not only the operations of ACF, but also affected its most valuable asset in various forms – its employees.
“The investment lends itself to be optimised once the
economic conditions improve and ACF is confident that government will do
everything in its power to ensure that foreign direct investment continues to
flow into Zimbabwe and that various sectors of the economy become open for
business so that businesses may operate with greater ease, which will also
ensure sustainability of FDI,” the Group said.
ACF met the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe executives.
“There are no irregularities against ACF by the MMCZ,
alleged or otherwise, and certainly no investigation into ACF in regard to
either its operations or its relationship with the MMCZ by the MMCZ or any other
body. It is unfortunate that the impression was created that ACF intended to withdraw
from its investment in Zimbabwe which is certainly not the case.”
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