Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister Mr Winston Chitando announced that China’s Tsingshan Holding Group has expanded its plans for a steel plant in Zimbabwe to include a power plant and a lithium concession. Mr Chitando said “The MoU signed today expands the scope of the original MoU. Tsingshan now aimed to produce 1 million tonnes of ferrochrome for local use and for export as part of the project, versus an initial target of about 550,000 tonnes of ferrochrome for local use only. Tsingshan will also explore the viability of upgrading Zimbabwe’s rail link to Mozambique’s Beira port. The initial phase is valued at USD 2 billion and the value for the second phase, as the projects are implemented, will depend largely on the feasibility studies which will be carried out, but we are looking at between USD 5-10 billion.”
He added that “The MoU provides for the construction of a 600 megawatts power plant in two phases of 300 megawatts each. Tsingshan will also be involved in lithium mining and value addition. They also agreed to revamp the railway system to transport the products. The MoU also includes Tsingshan looking into the possibility of working with the Government and other investors in exploring the upgrading of the railway to the port or the construction of a new railway line, whichever will be established to be more economically feasible. It also provides for the establishment of a dedicated port along the coast which will handle production coming from various operations in Zimbabwe.”
Since June last year, Minister Chitando said, Tsingshan has made significant progress in implementing the deal. He said “In terms of the MoU signed around June last year, the Zimbabwean Government committed to providing resources to Tsingshan in the form of chrome, nickel, iron ore and coal resources. Since then, Tsingshan has concluded the expansion drive of 100 000 tonnes of ferrochrome at the Selous plant. It has started resource evaluation at the coal special grant in Hwange. It also started resource evaluation at the special grant in Mvuma area. Conclusions in terms of the company’s granting of nickel concessions were done.”
The minister said the initial project is set to establish a two million tonne steel facility in the Mvuma area, of which 1 million tonnes will be carbon steel and the other 1 million tonnes being stainless steel.
Source : CHRONICLE
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