HARARE – President Mnangagwa yesterday met German investors who are set to partner mining and metal giant, Kuvimba Mining House, in the resuscitation of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco).
In February this year, the Government picked Kuvimba Mining House to lead the revival of the steel firm after a careful consideration of nine firms that had expressed interest.
Kuvimba Mining House has since identified German-based firm, SMS Group, one of the leading international companies in steel manufacturing to provide technical and financial support in a partnership that is expected to breathe new life into Zisco.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, led the delegations from Kuvimba Mining House and the German investors, and held a meeting with President Mnangagwa at State House yesterday.
Briefing journalists soon after meeting the President, Dr Nzenza said the partnership was set to transform Zisco and ultimately ensure that Vision 2030 of an upper middle income society was realised.
“President Mnangagwa welcomed the German delegation called SMS Group. It is the largest steel making plant operator in the world, basically they are global. They were here with Kuvimba Mining House, which is the current investor at Ziscosteel,” said Dr Nzenza.
“They are seeking a partnership to work with SMS Group with a view to realise the President’s vision towards utilising the latest technology in steel making, at the same time utilising the natural resources which are large iron deposits that we have,” said Minister Nzenza.
SMS Group managing board member, Mr Michael Rzepczyk, said they were determined to make a success story for Zisco through satisfying local and foreign markets with iron and steel products.
“We want to be a partner of Kuvimba and finally Zisco to bring the plant back into operation and to feed your market here and export markets and make a success story with steel here in the country,” said Mr Rzepczyk.
However, he could not be drawn into saying how much they will inject into Zisco, saying they were still making an assessment on its needs and the attendant costs.
“That is a little bit early to define. We got the first impression about the plant yesterday and we now have to work out the details and then we have the final figures during the end of the process,” he said.
Kuvimba Mining House group chief executive officer Mr Simba Chinyemba said they were determined to ensure the revival of Zisco, hence their decision to partner a tried and tested international firm.
“Kuvimba takes its role to resuscitate Zisco very seriously and as a result, we would like to infuse the expertise that we have locally with international expertise in the steel making business.
“This is why we are exploring partnership with a group as big as the SMS Group,” said Mr Chinyemba.
Kuvimba Mining House has both private and State shareholding and has been resuscitating gold mines across the country including Shamva Gold Mine and Freda Rebecca Gold Mine in Bindura. The firm was chosen by Cabinet as the investment partner for the resuscitation of Zisco after intense due diligence and meticulous screening of nine prospective partners that had shown interest in the deal.
After leading the revival of some gold mines, Kuvimba Mining House, recently paid an inaugural US$5,2 million dividend to the Government and some of its local shareholders following a positive performance.
Already Kuvimba owns some of the country’s most valuable mining assets cutting across a range of minerals including gold, platinum, nickel and chrome.
The process for the identification of an investor for Ziscosteel was undertaken under the guidance of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) with input from the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency before Kuvimba Mining House was settled for.
Initially, nine prospective investors expressed their interest and after a review by the executive management team, four bidders were shortlisted until Kuvimba Mining House was recommended. – Herald