The government of Zimbabwe is in the process of allocating Essar Steel the rights to mine iron ore as part of its NewZim Steel operations in the country, according to the country’s mining development minister.
This will remove the final obstacle to starting production
at the old Zimbabwean Iron & Steel Co (Zisco) steel company that the Indian group bought from the government in March last year, according to Obert Mpofu, the mining development minister.
Essar has been unable to start production at the steel plant because of the iron ore mineral rights that had not yet been allocated, according to Mpofu.
The ministry had a meeting with the company two weeks ago to resolve the matter, and the ministry was working on the transfer, he said.
“The transaction [of the sale of the steel company] was between Essar Africa and the ministry of industry and commerce regarding the manufacturing aspect of Zisco [now NewZim Steel],” he said in an interview with the government-owned paper The Herald.
“But this was not incorporated into the mineral rights needed in the agreement.”
Essar earlier this year pledged to invest $4 billion
in the steel industry in Zimbabwe in the next ten years.