Vedanta restarts operations at Gamsberg zinc mine in South Africa

18 January 2021 (Last Updated January 18th, 2021 15:51)

Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has restarted operations at its Gamsberg Open Pit Mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

Vedanta restarts operations at Gamsberg zinc mine in South Africa
Vedanta Zinc opened the first phase of the Gamsberg mine in March 2019. Credit: Alchemist-hp.

Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has restarted operations at its Gamsberg Open Pit Mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

All mining activities at the mine have been suspended since 17 November 2020 following a geotechnical failure, which trapped 10 employees.

Reuters cited Vedanta Zinc International management as saying in an emailed response: “The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy granted permission to commence stockpile feed and mining at the East pit in the last portion of December, followed by permission to commence mining at the West Pit in the first week of January.

“No ore mining production occurred in December, with a gradual ramp-up expected in January.”

The mine is located about 30km from Black Mountain Mining in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

VZI own 69.6% of the Gamsberg mine with 24.4% owned by Exxaro Resources. The remaining 6% is owned by the Employee Share Ownership Plan.

The closure of the Gamsberg mine raised supply concerns, resulting in increased prices for zinc, according to Reuters.

In March last year, Vedanta Zinc opened the $400m first phase of the Gamsberg mine.

The Gamsberg Phase 1 project has a production capacity of four million tonnes per annum (tpa) of ore from the open pit and 250,000tpa of concentrate from its concentrator plant.

With a total life-of-mine (LOM) estimated at 30 years, the mine has a reserve and resource of more than 214Mt with a grade of between 6% and 6.5% zinc.

In November 2017, VZI collaborated with GE South Africa to unveil a greenfields digitalisation initiative at the Gamsberg mine.