Balasore Alloys may think its future in ferrochrome is in Zimbabwe not India. Zimalloys received a $100-million investment from Balasore which it will use to double its ferrochrome production to 20,660 mtpm and add low-carbon ferrochrome to its portfolio.
ZimAlloys general manager Mike Dzinoreva was quoted as saying the company will construct a new sintering plant for the processing of chrome fines (alluvial) to produce low carbon ferrochrome. He said the company will also construct six alluvial concentrate smelting plants at different mining site.
“We have plans of setting up six alluvial concentrate processing plants on different sites, with each producing a minimum of 5,000 mtpm,” said Mr. Dzinoreva. “Already, we have set up one plant jointly with a Chinese company at Sutton Mine where we are producing 5,000 mt. “At the moment, we are using the product for export purposes, but when we resuscitate our plants we will feed it into our plant to produce a new product which is low-carbon ferrochrome.”
Mr. Dzinoreva said the company would be refurbishing two furnaces, M1 and A3, which have a combined production capacity of 4,330 mtpm, under the first phase scheduled for the first six months of 2018. He said the remaining A1 and A2 furnaces would be refurbished under the second phase.
“In terms of our refurbishment program, we are going to start with our A3 furnace which is the biggest furnace in the country and has a capacity to produce 4,000 mtpm,” said Mr Dzinoreva.
“Most of its infrastructure is still in place and its easier to resuscitate it. In terms of our refurbishment plan, we are expecting the A3 to come on line in 2018 and we expect the M1 furnace to come on line in the first quarter of next year.
“In 2019 and 2020, we will have more smelting capacity where we will bring on line the A1 and A2 furnaces that have the capacity of producing 3,000 mtpm of ferrochrome each. When we achieve that furnace configuration, we should be able to produce 10,330 per month, which will give us a total output of more than 120,000 mtpy.”
Mr. Dzinoreva said the company was targeting extracting more than 1-million mt of chrome ore within the next three years.
“We are targeting extracting more than 300,000 mt next year and a year after we are expecting to extract 700,000 mt of chrome ore,” he said.
In December, Indian authorities reportedly seized Balasore’s assets but the company later denied ever receiving any notification of the action.