South Korea's POSCO, the world's fourth largest steelmaker, said on Thursday that it is planning joint ventures in Zimbabwe as part of efforts to secure stable supplies of essential raw materials. The firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with Zimbabwe-based Anchor Holdings to cooperate in exploiting silica and other minerals, a spokesman for the Korean firm said.
The steelmaker has also agreed to buy a 7.8 percent stake in a coal mine in Mozambique, which will supply it with five million tons of coal a year from 2014. It gave no value for the deal. POSCO has been trying to acquire coal and iron ore mines in countries such as Australia, Canada and Brazil to secure stable supplies.
It estimates its self-sufficiency in raw materials this year at around 18 percent and aims to raise this to more than 50 percent by 2014.
Last month the steelmaker was chosen as preferred bidder for a controlling stake in South Korean trading and resources company Daewoo International.
The deal, reportedly worth about three billion dollars, would help it secure materials worldwide.