Wuhan Steel gets green light for Africa ventures

10:33, May 25, 2010      

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A port worker sifting through unloaded iron ore imported from Australia at a port in Rizhao, Shandong province. (Source: China Daily/Chen Weifeng)

China's third largest steelmaker Wuhan Iron and Steel Group on Monday received approval from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for two overseas acquisition deals in Africa that are expected to contribute nearly 2 billion tons of iron ore deposits.

The government cleared Wuhan Steel's plan to acquire the Soalala iron ore deposit in Madagascar with two other companies and the company's stake buy in a Liberian iron ore project.

The exploration license for the Soalala iron ore project was granted to Hong Kong-based Wisco Guangxin on May 8, a joint venture company 42 percent owned by Wuhan Steel, 38 percent by the Guangdong Foreign Trade Group Co and 20 percent by Kam Hing International Holdings, according to a statement released by Hong Kong-based Kam Hing International Holdings.

The project involves an area of more than 430 square kilometers and contains more than 800 million tons of reserves available for exploitation.

Wuhan Steel also signed an agreement on March 12 to pay China-Africa Development Fund $68.46 million for a 60 percent stake in China Union Investment Co, which owns an iron ore deposit located in central Liberia.

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