Zimbabwe stands ready to welcome more investors from across the globe for win-win outcomes such as the development of the country’s rich mineral resources, and the multi-billion-dollar steel mills and steel industry in Mvuma, President Mnangagwa said last night as he witnessed the steel deal being expanded.
The mega steel project being implemented by global steel giant Tsingshan Holdings Group of China in Manhize, will accelerate sustainable economic development, accelerate social development by creating large numbers of new jobs, and help the regional and continental modernisation and industrialisation agenda.
Last night an Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and Tsingshan Holdings was signed in the presence of the President to further develop and expand the mining operations, including expansion into lithium and the setting up of cement works.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando signed on behalf of the Government while the chairman of Dinson Holdings, the local subsidiary for Tsingshan, Mr Chen Shangsong, signed on behalf of Tsingshan Holdings.
Besides the Dinson Iron and Steel Company, the centrepiece of the investment, Tsingshan already owns Afrochine, which produces ferrochrome in Selous, runs a coke plant in Hwange, is building a power station in Hwange area, is developing the iron ore mines near Manhize and is now involved in joint venture to extend the core national grid from Sherwood near Kwekwe to Mvuma to ensure the steelworks can receive the power it needs.
Outlining the scope of the addendum, President Mnangagwa said it provides for the development and expansion of mining as well as other related projects. The Government signed an initial MoU with Tsingshan Holdings on 11 June 2018 for the establishment of the carbon steel plant in Manhize, which has become one of Tsingshan
“Additionally, the Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding, commits the partners to work more concertedly towards the realisation of our collective development oriented goals, for win-win outcomes. These include, the development of Zimbabwe’s rich mineral resources endowments towards a higher quality of life for our people,” said President Mnangagwa.
“To date, the company has footprints in a number of projects which include the production of high cation ferrochrome and coke, among other projects in Mashonaland West and Matabeleland North and Midlands.”
President Mnangagwa thanked the Chinese firm for the continued confidence in the Second Republic’s economic policies through their decision to increase investments in Zimbabwe.
“Through the Addendum to the founding Memorandum of Understanding, Tsingshan Holding Group is set to expand its current operations. This will see the company embark on the production of cement and lithium concentrates as well as scaling up coke and ferrochrome production, among other mining and mineral processing projects,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Zimbabwe remains ‘open for business’ and the Second Republic stands ready to welcome more investors across all sectors of the economy.
“It is encouraging that Tsingshan Holding will be producing steel enough to satisfy local and regional markets as well as for exporting to international markets.
“Hence, the development of the steel industry in Zimbabwe is set to contribute to the built environment, while giving impetus to accelerated sustainable socio-economic development. Furthermore, the establishment and growth of Tsingshan Holding Group will help drive the regional and continental modernisation and industrialisation agenda.”
The President was highly optimistic about the successful implementation of the various flagship projects outlined in both the Addendum and founding MoU.
“The expanded scope of the projects will also augment our country’s import substitution strategy, with regards to steel and cement products. Meanwhile, we welcome prospects for expanded employment and broad based empowerment opportunities for our citizenry,” he said.
President Mnangagwa commended the proposed refurbishment and expansion of the country’s railway network system as envisaged under the MoU.
“Given the capital intensive nature of mining as well as the need to consolidate the gains recorded in the sector, the consideration of joint efforts towards building long-term and strategic partnerships remains critical,” he said.
Earlier on, President Mnangagwa held a meeting with Tsingshan Holdings chairperson Mr Xiang Guangda, who expressed desire to continue investing in Zimbabwe in other areas.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the investment by Tsingshan Holdings was an indictment of the confidence that the global firm has in the Second Republic’s policies.
“This will play a huge role in the attainment of a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023,” said VP Chiwenga.
Minister Chitando said the coming of investors into the sector meant that Government’s engagement and re-engagement policy was bearing fruit.
He said the Addendum provided an increased production output which is set to transform the country’s economy.
Tsingshan Holdings Group general manager Mr Benson Xu commended President for his visionary leadership, which he said was set to improve the country.
Mr Xiang said he was aware that power was one of the bottlenecks in implementation projects hence he was exploring solutions to end the challenge.
The event was attended by Cabinet ministers, legislators, captains of industry and senior Government officials.