COMMENT: Mining companies should invest in value addition and beneficiation
TSINGSHAN Holdings subsidiary, Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco)’s US$1 billion integrated Iron and Steel Plant near Mvuma in the Midlands province is expected to start production during the first quarter of next year.
The plant is now 80 percent complete and everything is now in place to ensure that the plant starts production early next year.
The plant project manager, Mr Wilfred Motsi said recently that all the components needed to complete work on the project were now on site hence he was confident production will start during the first quarter of 2024.
He said the mining and stockpiling of iron ore has started so that when production of steel starts, there is adequate raw materials.
The steel plant, expected to be one of the biggest in the southern African region, has the potential to create up to 10 000 jobs. The impact of this project is already being felt in Mvuma and beyond as thousands have already been employed on the project.
The start of steel production will accelerate the country’s industrialisation programme as many companies that are importing steel and steel products will now be sourcing their materials locally.
The country has witnessed phenomenal growth in the mining sector during the past few years which is attributed to Government’s efforts to create an enabling environment.
The output of the mining sector increased from US$2,7 billion in 2017 to US$6 billion last year. Many new mines across the country have started production thereby boosting the confidence that the Government’s target of a US$12 billion mining industry by the end of this year will be realised.
The latest mine to come on board was Muchesu Coking Coal Project in Binga which started production a few months ago. The mine which belongs to Contango Holdings, produces washed coking coal and its target is to produce 20 000 tonnes of washed coking coal a month.
Zimbabwe is fast becoming an investment destination of choice in the region and beyond. Many lithium mining projects are also taking shape across the country and very soon the country will be among the leading producers of lithium in the world.
The lithium mines include Sabi Star Lithium Mine, Bikita Minerals, Arcadia Lithium Mine, Zulu and Kamativi Lithium Mine.
The thrust, as we have said before, is for the mining companies to invest in value addition and beneficiation so that the country derives maximum benefits from its mineral resources.
The value addition and beneficiation will not only create jobs for Zimbabweans but will also accelerate the country’s economic growth.
It is encouraging to note that DISCO has invested US$1 billion to set up a steel plant to process the iron ore here instead of exporting raw iron.