Kuvimba gets Cabinet nod to revive Zisco

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Harare (New Ziana) – Kuvimba mining house, in which the government has a controlling 65 percent stake, has received Cabinet approval to resuscitate Zisco Steel, once Africa’s largest integrated steelworks.

In a statement, Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jorum Gumbo said Kuvimba was chosen after due process was undertaken under the guidance of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, and input from the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency.

Kuvimba, a joint venture between the government and international investors, has under its portfolio, assets including Freda Rebecca gold mine, Bindura Nickel Corporation, and Shamva gold mine, among others.

“Initially, nine prospective investors expressed their interest and after a review by the executive management team, four bidders were shortlisted. Furthermore, a due diligence exercise was carried out and the bidders were reduced to three. Out of the three, Kuvimba Mining House was recommended. Accordingly, Cabinet approved that Kuvimba Mining House be engaged as the Investment partner for the resuscitation of Zisco Steel,” Gumbo said in a Post-Cabinet briefing.

“Kuvimba Mining House is a reputable player in the mining and metals sector. Cases in point are the recent resuscitation of Jena and Shamva Gold Mines in Mashonaland Central Province which has resulted in the company remitting a dividend to Treasury.”

Zisco folded in 2008, collapsing under a weight of massive debts, antiquated machinery, among other challenges.

Meanwhile, Cabinet also approved four investment projects which were presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube.

The four include a proposed Joint Venture (JV) between Tel-One, Flashcord, and the National Venture Capital Company of Zimbabwe to form the Zimbabwe Innovation and Technology Company (ZITCO) for the manufacture of ICT devices.

The other is the proposed partnership between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Chandiwana Mines for the resuscitation of Sabi Gold Mine, and a JV between ZMDC and Govine Enterprises on the resuscitation of Shamrock Copper Mine.

Cabinet also gave its approval to the proposed engagement of Samano Holdings (Pvt) Ltd by Mazowe Rural District Council in the mining of limestone at Dandamera Farm in Mashonaland Central Province.

Gumbo said the economic benefits of creating ZITCO included the creation of over 2 000 jobs, revenue generation, and import substitution.

“The targeted export market includes Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique and exports estimated to generate US$25 million in the first three years (2022-24),” he said.

On the ZMDC partnerships for the resuscitation of Sabi gold mine and Shamrock copper mine, Gumbo said these would aid to the attainment of the US$12 billion mining industry.

“The joint venture (for the resuscitation of Sabi gold mine) will be for a five-year period and will contribute 1 428 kilogrammes of gold. The project will create 650 jobs initially for locals, and subsequently 800 employees when in full production,” he said.

“The Joint Venture partnership between ZMDC and Govine Enterprises is for the resuscitation of underground operations and dump retreatment at Shamrock Copper Mine. The mine is expected to produce 34 200 metric tonnes of copper per year generating US$45 million annually when fully operational. Govine Enterprises will inject the required capital, while ZMDC will contribute mineral resources, the mining title, and infrastructure at the mine.

“The project will create 400 jobs for locals, and Zimbabwe will benefit from technology transfer and US$295 million in foreign currency generation over ten years. The investor, as part of corporate social responsibility, will construct amenities and facilities such as schools and clinics for the benefit of the local community.”

On the fourth partnership, Gumbo said the JV between Mazowe RDC and Samano Holdings would involve the exploration and mining of limestone.

“Samano Holdings will invest US$10.6 million into the venture, including US$4.5 million required for the 5MW solar plant to supply power to the mining operations. Mazowe Rural District Council will contribute mineral resources and the mining title. The Mazowe RDC and Samano Holdings joint venture will have a shareholding ratio of 30:70 in the first five years and 40:60 consequently,” he said.

“The project will create at least 1 000 jobs for locals, generate US$170 million over ten years and plough back to the community through corporate social responsibility programmes.”
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