Africa’s second largest copper producer Zambia is endowed with a variety of minerals ranging from Cobalt and Iron. One extractive industry that has been ignore much over the years is iron ore mining. Universal Mining and Chemical Industries Limited will be investing $7million to its iron ore mine situated 65km on the western part of Kafue town. This was according to a statement provided to ZBT by UMCIL Executive Technical Director Dr. Julius Kaoma.
UMCIL is determined to curb importation of steel into Zambia when the product is available locally, he said in an interview with Minining News Zambia.
There exists a deficit of scrap metal which UMCIL has decided to leverage on to tap into this iron ore curve. The mining company is diversifying into iron ore mining away from the copper talk in a year that the red metal price has tumbled reversing all 2016 gains. Copper is the worst performer of all metals tracked by ZBT this year. UMCL owners of Kafue Steel plant said the steel production capacity is slightly under 50% of its full operational potential at 122,500 tons annually. UMCL hopes scale up this capacity to 250,000 tons, Dr. Kaoma, said in the tourist capital Livingstone at an Infrastructure development and investment strategies for Africa.
It is exciting to note that the famous Kazungula bridge construction could use indigenous steel from UMCIL. UMCIL bemoaned the ‘exportation yet re importation’ of steel into the country at high markups. Quantity surveyors in Zambia has not done a good job in recommending local steel grades, this was cited on the mining news web page.
“It’s a great investment opportunity for Zambia. However it is vague as to how the financing of this investment will be achieved. It provides an opportunity for Zambian banks to syndicate or better still for the capital markets to facilitate issuance of a corporate bond,” ZBT Strategist said in a note to clients. This deal is lauded for all the right reasons as it translates to employment, investment, diversification and economic development for not only Kafue town but Zambia.
capital already injected in opening up the iron ore mine at Sanje is ZMW 700 million (US$ 70 million) that have already been injected in the opening of the iron ore mine at Sanje Hill 60 km west of Kafue and 15 km east of Nampundwe Mine. UMCIL is expected to open up the mines by the end of this year.It is exciting to see the birth of Kafue town just like Sentinel has awakened Kalumbila town.
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