A memorandum of co-operation has been signed by the Chinese steelmaker Hebei Iron & Steel Group and the South African Industrial Development Corporation and China-Africa Development Fund to build a 5Mt/yr steel mill.

The mill will rely upon Hebei's 270Mt of high-purity-grade iron ore reserves in the country and will be constructed in two phases.

The Chinese steelmaker plans to commence construction of phase one next year. Once completed (by end 2017) it will be capable of producing 3Mt of long steel.

Phase two, which will start production in 2019, will have an annual production capacity of 2Mt of sheet and section steel.

Hebei's chairman Yu Yong said, "In order to make the most out of the resources we own in South Africa, our company has decided to build a steel mill there...".

Hebei also owns 200Mt of copper ore reserves in South Africa.

Source: China Metals.