Korea, POSCO keen on Nigeria’s iron ore deposits

Korea, POSCO keen on Nigeria’s iron ore deposits
By Obinna Ezeobi, in Seoul, South Korea
Published: Thursday, 30 Oct 2008
The Government of South Korea and the third largest steel company in the world, Pohang Iron and Steel Company of South Korea, have expressed interest in investing in Nigeria’s iron ore and coal deposits.

Iron ore is the raw material for making steel and POSCO operates two steel mills in Pohang and Gwangyang, and also operates a joint venture with United States Steel, USS-POSCO, in Pittsburg, California.

Along with Samsung Electronics, POSCO is viewed by many Koreans as a symbol of national pride, especially as the country’s strong shipbuilding and automobile industry is dependent on POSCO for steel.

Speaking at the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference holding in Seoul, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Chief Sarafa Isola, said that he had received the assurance of the Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance, Mr. Man-Soo Kang, that his country would take interest in the exploitation of coal and iron ore deposits in Nigeria.

He stated that although Korean companies were already working in the Nigerian power sector at the Egbin Thermal Station, officials of the two countries, however, agreed to further meet and consolidate their bi-lateral relationships, especially as it concerned the development of solid minerals.

According to him, the ministry decided to focus on coal and iron ore out of the seven strategic minerals being fast-tracked under President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration.

The minister said, “We have had the opportunity of attracting Korean investors to the minerals we have in Nigeria, particularly in our quest to develop the seven strategic minerals.

“For this conference, we targeted two minerals deposits, coal and iron ore, and I am quite satisfied with the level of interest generated by Korean companies in these two deposits.”

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