Potential for Pula Steel rebirth as Ikongwe Iron Ore mine takes off.

The iron ore mining activities that are currently taking shape near Ikongwe in the Shoshong Constituency are bringing up a number of opportunities especially for the local steel industry.

Operations have commenced at Botswana ‘s first iron ore mine, following the awarding of mining license recently by Department of Mines inthe Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.

According to a research undertaken by The Projects, Ikongwe Iron ore deposits were part of Investment earmaked under BCL Polaris II , a diversification undertaking conceptualized by BCL Group to sustain the company outside Phikwe Copper Mining.

BCL has since liquidated following decline of International copper prices and alleged mismanagement.

Minister of Mineral Resources , Green Technology & Energy Security Lefoko Maxwell Moagi visited the Ikongwe iron ore project site in June.

He said the iron ore project would bring up potential value chains such as resuscitation of the local steel industry. Minister Moagi said in a televised press briefing early last month that great potential for rebirth of Pula Steel lies ahead.

Pula Steel was liquidated following terrible financial management by the company ‘s primary investors. The company was partly funded by CEDA and was conceptualised as a member of the BCL Group under the latter ‘ s diversification drive dubbed POLARIS II.

The Ikongwe Iron project investors are Vision Ridge Investment, a private mining company backed by Indians, headquartered in Gaborone CBD.

Vision Ridge Directors revealed recently that the deposit would produce a million tonnes of iron-ore per year for ten years, with iron ore content of up to 65%, commonly referred to as 65% iron. Anything above 60% iron content is considered good for steelmaking.

“Because of the prevailing high international market, we will target the export market but we also have plans to set up a pig-iron plant in Botswana,” Chetan Patil Vision Ridge told international media house Reuters recently.

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