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Minister Says Zimbabwe Won't Dump $750 Million Ziscosteel Deal

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha says the government and Essar Africa Holdings of India are still committed to the $750 million New Zimbabwe Steel Private Limited deal signed a couple of years ago following a stalemate over iron ore deposits.

Bimha told parliament a top Essar official is expected in the country soon to finalize the deal that will save many jobs at the former Ziscosteel.

He said some technical issues are being finalized before the project can kick off.

Government signed the deal to resuscitate the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company but three years on, it is yet to be implemented due to political bickering in the previous inclusive government over the iron ore reserves and other unclear clauses in the deal.

More than 3,000 workers have been left jobless as there is no ore production at Redcliff, Midlands province. Thousands of children of abandoned workers have dropped out of school while the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has been of late disconnecting power to households failing to pay bills.

Essar has a 53 percent stake in Ziscosteel which collapsed due to what critics say was mismanagement.