Ven­data in new zinc mine project

R8.8bn plant in North­ern Cape

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Di­neo Faku

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Aquarius Plat­inum plans the pos­si­ble re­sump­tion of op­er­a­tions at its idling Ever­est mine in Mpumalanga.

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