Zimbabwe’s state-owned miner, Kuvimba Mining House Ltd., has been selected to revive the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company.
The miner has been picked as the “investment partner” to breathe new life into one of the continent’s largest steel mills which has been shut for 14 years. The selection follows a bid that was launched last year.
Ziscosteel, is located in the Midlands province, an area with vast deposits of chrome and platinum. Over the years the company has faced many operational problems and corruption scandals. At its peak, the plant produced nearly 1 million tons of steel a year. Previous attempts to re-start the mill, including interest by India’s Essar Steel Ltd, stalled as prospective investors haggled over a $300 million debt burden and obsolete machinery at the plant.
Kuvimba Mining said it bought its assets from a company linked to Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a Zimbabwean tycoon who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in 2020 because of allegations he bribed government officials and used political influence to win lucrative state deals.
“The Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority, a state-owned investment vehicle, recommended the choice of Kuvimba after carrying out due diligence. The company needs $350 million to $400 million to revive the project. It all depends on the new investor on what they want to do,” said Farai Koronga, the chief executive officer for Ziscosteel.