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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Masvingo City's SIMBI iron ore processing plant: socioeconomic benefits versus environmental threats
Author:Mapira, JemitiasISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Volume:27
Issue:2
Pages:165-188
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:iron and steel industry
pollution
land degradation
urban economy
Abstract:Masvingo City's iron ore-processing plant (SIMBI Pvt Ltd) was established in 2004 as the city's only heavy industry. It delivers sponge iron, coal, steel and oxygen to consumers across Zimbabwe and exports a substantial tonnage of sponge iron to South Africa. The company employs 350 people, and has become a major iron ore processing plant in the country after the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Corporation (ZISCO) in Kwe Kwe. This paper, based on data gathered in 2007 and 2008, assesses the role of the iron ore processing plant in promoting the city's economy and considers the environmental threats, which emanate from the plant's operations. Sources of data for the paper included: archival research, interviews with key personnel and field observations. Two key findings emerged from the study: firstly, that the plant has succeeded in boosting the city's of Masvingo's economy through diversification and employment creation, while exports of sponge iron have earned the country considerable foreign exchange revenue; secondly, that the existence of the plant in Masvingo city has generated considerable environmental problems, including land degradation, water, air and noise pollution. The paper suggests a number of possible solutions to the environmental challenges triggered by the existence of this plant. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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