Vedanta considers construction of zinc smelter in South Africa

4 May 2018 (Last Updated June 30th, 2020 12:04)

Vedanta Resources' subsidiary Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has commenced a feasibility study relating to the design and construction of a smelter to process zinc mined from its Gamsberg project at Black Mountain Mining in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Vedanta Resources’ subsidiary Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has commenced a feasibility study relating to the design and construction of a smelter to process zinc mined from its Gamsberg project at Black Mountain Mining in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

The establishment of the proposed Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex would transform the project into a fully integrated zinc production site housing the mine, concentrator and smelter-refinery facility.

It is expected to have a significant positive impact on the Northern Cape, which is in line with the group’s ongoing commitment to development in Southern Africa.

“The establishment of the proposed Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex would transform the project into a fully integrated zinc production site housing the mine, concentrator and smelter-refinery facility.”

The initial phase of the plant is expected to have a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of finished zinc metal.

Vedanta’s modular development strategy would also allow the complex to be expanded to align with Gamsberg Phases II and III at a later date.

The facility will require approximately 200MW of additional power and water supply for operation.

Vedanta’s feasibility study will include a review of work previously undertaken by the company regarding the possibility of developing a Southern African Zinc Cluster that would cover both Black Mountain and the Skorpion Zinc mine, which is located in southern Namibia.

The initiative would support the company’s commitment to beneficiating its raw materials to final metal products.

Vedanta is planning to invest between $700m and $800m in the Gamsberg refinery.

Gamsberg has a reserve and resource of more than 200 million tonnes (Mt) and an estimated potential life-of-mine of 30 years.

The initial phase of the $400m Gamsberg Mine development is currently underway and first production is scheduled for the middle of this year, with full production expected to commence in nine to 12 months.