Zambia: Universal Mining Invests in Kafue Iron Plant

UNIVERSAL Mining and Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) is to invest more than US$100 million in the establishment of a plant for Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) which is expected to come on stream this year.

Phase two of the project has so far gobbled up K250 billion and the civil engineering works haven since commenced.

UMCIL technical director, Julius Kaoma said the firm had embarked on phase two of the Kafue integrated Iron and Steel plant, called the Direct Reduced Iron which would be processing iron ore into steel products.

UMCIL is a 100 per cent Zambian owned entity which has committed itself to the establishment of an iron and steel industry in the country.

Under Phase one, the company established an iron and steel manufacturing plant in Kafue which would use iron and steel scrap as its main feed stock.

Speaking in an interview in Kafue, Dr Kaoma explained that the company was developing the mine, road infrastructure and constructing the DRI plant.

He said the total investment for the DRI project would be more than US$100 million and would create over 200 jobs once the mine and the DRI became operational.

Dr Kaoma said civil engineering works which had already began would be completed by the end of the year.

He said phase one totally depended on the use of iron and scrap as its major feed stock while, phase two aims to make the iron ore as its main feed stock for the iron and steel manufacturing processes.

Dr Kaoma said when the DRI comes on stream this year, the production capacity would increase from 100,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes.

UMCIL director Bright Chunga said after the tour of the civil works at Kafue Steel that, scrap metal was depleting in the country while on the other hand there was enough iron ore which would last even 100 years, saying that it was a lot more sustainable.

The company under phase one, invested US$120 million to establish an iron and steel manufacturing plant in Kafue which would use iron and scrap metal as its main feed stock.

Phase one of the project was completed in 2007 and is now fully operational, producing 7,000 tonnes of finished rolled iron and steel products per month for the local and regional markets.

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