MINING giant Kuvimba Mining House, appointed by the Government to oversee the resuscitation of ZiscoSteel, is now on the ground following the completion of feasibility studies and the signing of the necessary contracts that should see the injection of US$300 million in new capital to kick start the rebuilding of the steelworks.
Mining is expected to restart soon to create cash and revenue flows to power the resuscitation. ZiscoSteel board chair Engineer Martin Manuhwa said the new investor is putting in over US$$300 million to kick start the rebuilding of ZiscoSteel using modern technologies to produce high-grade steel.
"Our start date following the signing of the final contract was supposed to be December 27, 2022, but the new investor is moving in now after meeting all the conditions that were set by Government and we have a business plan that will be tabled and will be approved by the Government and the board," he said.
The new investors are bringing in new technology that would make ZiscoSteel one of the best producers of decarbonised steel in Southern Africa.
"We will be using new technology in line with the fourth industrial revolution where we will have minimal emissions. We also intend to do modern decarbonised steel that will make it makertable," he said.
It was all systems go for the resuscitation of the giant steel company with most service providers having been awarded contracts to start business.
"Technically, Kuvimba have moved in as you might be aware that not everything is done on site. I can safely say they are now on site and ready to go," he said.
The company was starting by building up its human resources after losing manpower during its decade of closure.
"We will be checking on key indicators of the contractor with much of it being financing of the operations, human resources as well as technological plan," he said.
"Over the first 90 days of the contract, we have seen Kuvimba deploying critical resources such as international consultants and legal practitioners to enable a smooth management transition. We now expect Kuvimba to catalyse the investment process with up to US$300 million capital injection in debt instruments while over US$1 billion is expected to be generated organically from the commercialisation of mining activities.
"This is a new approach as previous mining was only a captive source of iron ore for the steelworks," he said.
The resuscitation of ZiscoSteel hinges on generating cash from mining operations and investing the proceeds to modernise and rebuild the steelworks. The strategy was accepted by experts as the most realistic way to timely revive the giant steel company
Kuvimba House chief executive officer Mr Simba Chinyemba said ZiscoSteel was a national asset whose revival was crucial to the country's economy.
"ZiscoSteel is an important national asset and our goal is to see the company flourish to surpass yesteryear production levels while creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for local communities," he said.
Kuvimba Mining House has previously revived a number of companies and mines that include Jena Gold Mine, Shamva Gold Mine among others, it is expected to play a key role in the resuscitation of the giant steel company which used to employ over 5 000 workers during its peak.