Vendata in new zinc mine project
R8.8bn plant in Northern Cape
VENDATA Resources, the London-listed diversified mining house, planned to inject $782 million (R8.77bn) over three years into establishing a new zinc project expected to create 500 permanent jobs near Aggeneys, Northern Cape.
About 1 500 jobs are also expected to be created during construction.
Yesterday, the company said that of the $782m, about $630m would be allocated towards developing an open-pit zinc mine, concentrate plant and associated infrastructure at Gamsberg, Northern Cape, which is one of world’s largest undeveloped zinc deposits.
Anglo American sold its zinc assets, including Skorpion, Gamsberg and Lisheen mine in Ireland to Vendata in 2010 for $698m.
The board approved the $782m investment into the 250 000 tons-a-year open-pit mine at Gamsberg, Namibia, along with an integrated 150 000 tons a year roaster at Skorpion, Namibia.
Vendata, which produces 1.4 million tons of zinc a year, and contributes towards 10 percent of global supply, was prioritising investments into zinc, oil and gas operations where it had high quality assets that will yield high returns.
Kishore Kumar, the chief executive at Vendata Zinc International, said yesterday the Gamsberg-Skorpion Integrated Zinc Project was likely to produce the first ore in 2018.
The Gamsberg open pit mine is expected to have a lifespan of about 13 years.
“The company was confident in the decision to build the mine because the zinc market is robust and has grown by between 2 and 3 percent this year,” Kumar said.
The construction of the mine and the upgrade of the refinery in Namibia will close the volume gap from the closure of the Lisheen mine in Ireland, which will reach its end of life in 2016.
The Gamsberg project will be operated under the auspices of Black Mountain Mining, which is 74 percent owned by Sesa Sterlit, a listed subsidiary of Vendata.
The remaining 26 percent interest in BMM is held by Exxaro Resources, a South African-owned diversified resources firm.
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