Portnex to maintain its lease with Zimasco

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Tinashe Makichi Business Writer
South African firm, Portnex International says it will maintain its lease agreement with Zimasco and focus on processing ferrochrome.

There have been allegations of a rift between Zimasco and Portnex with the later accused of failing to honour its obligations of the lease agreement.

Zimasco leased some of its furnances to Portnex — which at some point expressed interest in the company — when it was facing financial challenges. But the country’s largest ferrochrome producer has turned around and processes of removing the company under judicial manager is on course.

A well-placed source told the Business Weekly that Portnex would maintain the lease with Zimasco and focus on production.

“The business of Portnex is ferrochrome production. It only mine for the purposes of pursuing that end goal. It has a lease with Zimasco, which as far as we are concerned works better with Zimasco on its feet,” said the source.

Portnex develops, owns, and operates mining projects, including coal, copper, zinc, chrome, and gold. The company markets commodities, which include reductants, such as chrome ore, ferrochrome, thermal coal, lean coal, anthracite, coking coal, and coke products and bulk alloys.

Zimasco, a unit of China’s Sinosteel Corporation was put under provisional judicial management in June 2015 after the company’s indebtedness to banks and creditors had gradually increased to about $65 million in 2015 from $38 million in 2 009.

The ferrochrome giant stopped its operations in 2015 leading to the switching off of its smelters at the Kwekwe refinery. Three of its smelters were then leased to Portnex in a $12 million lease agreement.

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