Daewoo eyes SA for minerals division

22 February 2012

Daewoo International, a subsidiary of South Korean steel giant Posco, says it plans to establish a mineral resource division in South Africa this year, as part of the company’s recently accelerated efforts in the mineral development business in natural resource-rich Africa.

“South Africa is known to host an abundance of mineral resources,” Daewoo said in a statement earlier this month. “It has the world’s largest reserves for platinum, manganese and gold.

“With a number of powerful mining companies, the business community within the country ensures relatively seamless access to information. And as a transportation hub in logistics, ports and shipping, South Africa is seen as the optimal location to build a mineral resources development division in the region.”

IFC, Posco to push Africa investment

Daewoo’s announcement preceded by a week the signing of an agreement by the the company’s parent, Posco, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to cooperate on business development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The IFC said in a statement last week that the pact reflected “the growing interest of international project sponsors in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the IFC’s increasing involvement in South-South investment – projects executed in Africa by companies from newly developed countries or other developing countries”.

Daewoo set up its first African branch in Lagos, Nigeria in 1975, and has since built 10 new bases to support its operations on the continent.

‘Determined to build a success story in Africa’

Deploying an “aggressive and differentiated localization strategy, Daewoo International is determined to build a success story in Africa,” the company said, noting that it had opened new branches in the DRC and Cameroon in the last year.

“This year, the company is planning to launch trial production at a nickel mine in Ambatovy, Madagascar, and expand its focus to develop a network across Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and other countries in Central Africa.”

Besides its 4% stake in the Madagascar nickel mine, Daewoo has a 100% stake in a tin mine in Cameroon, which is currently in the exploration phase. Korea imports 16 000 tons of tin every year.

Last year, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the DRC’s state-owned mining corporation to develop copper mines in the country, and was working to forge a similar relationship with Ethiopia’s state-owned mining company.

SAinfo reporter