State Mozambique Ports and Railways company, CFM, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Zimbabwean ferrochrome producer ZIMASCO have signed a Service Level Agreement that should guarantee the movement of large amounts of chrome and of iron ingots to the ports of Beira and Maputo along the Mozambican rail network.
According to the agreement, which came into force on 1 November and is valid until December 2018, ferro chrome and iron ingots would transported through the Machipanda and Limpopo lines, respectively.
State-controlled Radio Mozambique reported on Sunday that during that period it envisages the rail transport of about a million tonnes of these minerals for export, or around 70,000 tonnes a month.
With the signing of this agreement the amount of freight using the Limpopo line next year should rise to about a million tonnes, a figure never reached before.
To achieve these figures, CFM and NRZ are mobilizing the necessary locomotives and wagons. The agreement was formalised late on Saturday by the chairperson of the CFM board, Miguel Matabel, and by the company’s executive director for operations, Agostinho Langa while the managing director of NRZ,
Lewis Mukwada, signed for his company, as did the Chief Executive Office of ZIMASCO, John Musekiwa.
Zimbabwe’s ferrochrome production is expected to double to 300,000 tonnes this year after the government allocated chrome concessions to small mining companies as part of efforts to boost output.
Zimbabwe holds the world’s second largest deposits of chrome, which is smelted to produce ferrochrome. Raw chrome exports are expected to reach 550,000 tonnes from 285,000 tonnes.