Chinese miner cedes half of its mining claims to Zimbabwe

China’s Sinosteel Corp Ltd. has ceded half its mining claims held by its subsidiary, Zimasco, to the government of Zimbabwe, in compliance with demands to chrome producers to give up some of their claims, as part of its black economic empowerment drive.

“It is accurate regarding Zimasco in that we have indeed ceded 50 percent of our chrome claims to the government,” Clara Sadomba, the company’s general manager for administration told Reuters.

Sinosteel’s Zimasco and Zimbabwe Alloys, which owned 80 percent of all chrome mining claims in the southern African country were last year asked by the Mines Minister to release some ground for distribution to new investors. According to Sadomba. Zimasco held 45,900 hectares of claims before giving up half. However, it is uncertain whether Zimbabwe Alloys also gave up part of its claims.

Zimbabwe holds more than 950 million in chrome reserves, the world’s second largest deposits, according to ministry of mines data. It produced 260,000 tonnes of ferrochrome in 2014, which was 2.3 percent of global output.