Vedanta breaks ground on Gamsberg projectBy MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – VEDANTA Zinc International (VZI), has broken ground at the Gamsberg project in South Africa.
Development has commenced, with pre-stripping and surface work to access the ore body underway, and ore production is on track to begin in early 2018. The mine will partially replace output from VZI’s Lisheen operation in Ireland, which will close at the end of November of this year.
Speaking at the ground-breaking, Vedanta Chief Executive Officer, Tom Albanese, emphasised Vedanta’s commitment to stimulating economic growth in the region through sustainable investments in exploration.
“We are very excited to have reached this stage of the project. We believe this region has the highest concentration of zinc on the African continent and that an integrated zinc/lead complex can be developed here anchored around Gamsberg and the Skorpion Refinery in Rosh Pinah that can boost economic growth and create sustainable employment,” explained Albanese.
The first phase of the Gamsberg open pit mine, which is located near the town of Aggeneys in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, is expected to have a life of mine of approximately 13 years. Over the last few months VZI has focused on putting together a world class project team to drive delivery at Gamsberg. It has also re-phased the Gamsberg project plan in line with the Group’s focus on disciplined capital allocation.
Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas, welcomed the project commending the impact it would have on the development of the province.
“We welcome this significant investment by Vedanta in the Northern Cape economy which demonstrates a commitment to contributing to the growth of the local economy. Mining is a key driver of economic growth in the province and this investment by Vedanta will contribute positively to the creation of decent and sustainable jobs and the improvement of the lives of our people,” said Lucas.
As part of its vision for an integrated zinc business in Southern Africa, Vedanta previously announced the approval of a US$782 million investment over a 3 year period, to develop an open pit zinc mine in Gamsberg, South Africa, as well as the conversion of the Skorpion Zinc Refinery in neighbouring Namibia.
The majority of the investment, approximately US$630 million, will go towards developing the open-pit zinc mine, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure at Gamsberg. The balance of the investment will be used to convert the refinery at Skorpion Zinc in Rosh Pinah, Namibia; thereby enabling it to refine zinc sulphide concentrates from the Gamsberg Mine into special high grade zinc metal.
– CAJ News
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