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INTERNATIONAL - Zimbabwe is looking to Transnet’s $400million (R4.83billion) capitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to bring capacity into the parastatal which has failed to move about 200000 tons of chrome ore from ferrochrome producer Zimasco’s mines.

The logistical challenges that miners are facing could be resolved if the government of Zimbabwe can push through finalisation of the recapitalisation of NRZ by Transnet, an official from NRZ said on Wednesday.

Transnet will be expected to help NRZ raise its freight capacity and enhance its shipment volumes. The Zimbabwean railways parastatal had earmarked to move 3.7million tons of cargo in 2017.

“As you might be aware, the parastatal is under recapitalisation and the government has made significant strides by identifying an investor to revive NRZ and it is under this arrangement that the issue of improving on efficiency, as well as number of wagons, not only for Zimasco, but all our clients, is being taken note of,” NRZ spokesperson Nyasha Maravanyika said.

Other mining companies such as Zimplats have had to move ore and production matte using road, which comes at a higher cost, as he NRZ is sitting on dilapidated infrastructure and obsolete wagons.

The decay in the railways parastatal has impacted on timely movement and production of mineral ore at a time Zimbabwe, according to the chamber of mines, is expecting mineral earnings to top $2.5bn this year.

Zimasco said it is stuck with 200000 tons of ore that the NRZ had failed to move on time.

Zimasco has about four smelting furnaces, two of which are being used by Portnex, a South African company under a lease agreement with the Zimbabwean company.

- BUSINESS REPORT