Zimbabwe Alloys hands over half of its mining claims to Mugabe govt

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HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe Alloys, the country’s second largest ferrochrome producer, has ceded half of its mining claims to the government, a state-owned newspaper said on Wednesday, ending more than a year of negotiations.

President Robert Mugabe’s government last June threatened to seize half of ZimAlloys 39,175 hectares of mining ground, but the mining company stood firm saying it should be compensated for the claims.

The Herald newspaper reported that ZimAlloys gave up the mining claims last month and was negotiating with an unnamed Indian investor to recapitalise the company.

Officials from ZimAlloys could not be reached for comment.

ZimAlloys, together with Zimasco, held 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims and Mugabe’s government argued that the companies should surrender some of their ground to allow more new investors to mine chrome ore.

Zimbabwe holds the world’s second largest deposits of chrome, which is smelted to produce ferrochrome, a raw material used in stainless steelmaking.