Masvingo City’s only heavy industry,SIMBI, owned by Steelmakers is set to resume production in the ancient city mid this month in a move expected to spur economic activity in the country’s oldest town.
SIMBI,an acronym for Sponge Iron Mining and Beneficiation Industries,had been mothballed since August 2019 after being choked by incessant water shortages coupled with recurrent power cuts and plummeting sponge iron prices on the world market.
Now the firm wants to resume operations bouyed by an improved local economic climate and the world economy slowly recovering from ravages of Covid-19.
According to Masvingo Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa SIMBI has already had water reconnected to its plant in the industrial area to prepare for re-opening.
The company also intends to expand its plant and beneficiate its sponge iron to produce stainless steel products to improve export earnings.
Engineer Mukaratirwa says his council is still looking into SIMBI’s proposal.
The sponge iron producer opened in 2004 and produced 60 000 tonnes annually when it shut down.
Iron ore and limestone to feed the plant is extracted at Glenlivet,25kms east of Masvingo while coal comes from the firm’s mine in Chiredzi. Herald