By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, July 20 (The Source) – Semi-processed iron exporter NJZ Resources Africa says it has engaged a South African locomotive operator to boost rolling stock capacity after it secured orders from China, with the National Railways of Zimbabwe unable to meet its demand.
In 2012, NJZ won the tender to rehabilitate iron ore dumps left when the Buchwa Iron Mining Company-owned (BIMCO) mine ceased operations over 20 years ago. The tender also gave the company rights to process and export the iron ore — estimated at five million tonnes — from the site.
Managing director Tinashe Kasere said the firm had an order of 100,000 metric tonnes per month from China but struggling NRZ currently has capacity to freight 20,000 tonnes, prompting the company to engage Transnet of South Africa. He said Zimbabwe can take advantage of the firming prices despite fears that the commodities could end the year bearish.
“We have had joint discussions with NRZ and CFM of Mozambique to increase capacity. Unfortunately Mozambique have not guaranteed any additional capacity to increase from 20,000 tonnes, which is below the economic order quantity,” Kasere said.
“We have now engaged Transnet to work with NRZ and move its rolling stock into Zimbabwe to augment capacity. Should we get favourable freight rates, which we are awaiting, the stock will be shipped through Richards Bay (in South Africa).”
On the company’s quarrying projects, Kasere said the company is hopeful of securing a contract at platinum miner Unki which currently has construction projects. NJZ commissioned a $1,2 million quarry last year to boost its revenue after prices on the global market weakened.
“We are doing trials with Unki so that we can supply them up to 100,000 tonnes of aggregate quarry products per month. Everything is in place and we are in our third week,” he said.
“Because of our proximity to Unki, they found it convenient to work with us.”