Ferrochrome producer Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) has temporarily shut down one of its Kwekwe plants, after a sharp drop in prices for the metal.

This has been attributed to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as well as the economic slowdown in key market China.

Zimasco has two plants, each with two furnaces with a combined 144 000t/annum capacity.

Zimasco is the largest integrated ferrochrome producer in Zimbabwe.

Its operational centers located in Kwekwe, Shurugwi & Mutorashanga.

Meanwhile, the Shangani Energy Exploration (SEE), a joint venture between Sinosteel of China and Zimasco, is exploring coal bed methane in the Matabeleland North Province.

It wishes to start a pilot gas production for power generation in 2024.

The project is estimated to cost US $800 million and SEE is the financer. The project consists of developing gas wells and building a 400 MW power station.