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.