After fourteen years of being shut down, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company is set to receive a new lease of life after the government selected Kuvimba Mining House Limited to resuscitate the moribund plant. This is amid concerns that Kuvimba bought its assets from another company linked to Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a Zimbabwean mogul that was sanctioned by the US Treasury on allegations of bribery and corruption.
At its peak, the ZISCOSTEEL produced nearly one million tons of steel annually and had five thousand workers in its employ while creating indirect employment for a further fifty-five thousand people. It was a major earner of foreign revenue for Zimbabwe until a slow decline began in the 1970s. By 2006, it was reported that the steel mill was being looted and by 2010, it could no longer pay staff. Previous attempts to restart it proved abortive as a result of an outstanding three hundred million dollar debt and obsolete machinery at the plant.
In April 2021, the Zimbabwean government invited bids from investors to bring back the company which is located in the chrome and platinum rich area of the Midlands province.
The new investment partner already has interests in gold and nickel and was said by Joram Gambo the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, to have been selected after due diligence checks. Zimbabwe is known to have troves of mineral resources and iron ore reserves of up to seven hundred million tonnes. In addition to the iron ore, the country also has vast deposits of limestone and coal which are both needed in the manufacturing of steel.
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