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 environment.
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 1200.
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.”