Vedanta unit suspends mining activities at Gamsberg mine after accident

18 November 2020 (Last Updated November 18th, 2020 15:53)

Vedanta’s unit Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has reportedly suspended all mining activities at its Gamsberg zinc mine in South Africa.

Vedanta unit suspends mining activities at Gamsberg mine after accident
Vedanta Zinc opened the $400m first phase of the Gamsberg mine in March 2019. Credit: Alchemist-hp.

Vedanta’s unit Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has reportedly suspended all mining activities at its Gamsberg zinc mine in South Africa.

The suspension comes after a geotechnical failure trapped ten employees, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, eight of the workers were rescued after the accident, which occurred at 1.15am local time on 17 November.

Currently, the company is in the process of finding the remaining two workers.

Gamsberg mine was opened last year. It is owned 69.6% by VZI and 24.4% by Exxaro Resources. The remaining 6% is owned by the Employee Share Ownership Plan.

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

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

Phase 1 of Gamsberg, which has a life of mine (LoM) of 13 years, will produce four million tonnes per annum (tpa) of ore from the open pit and 250,000tpa of concentrate from its concentrator plant.

Vedanta approved the project in 2014, following which the first blast occurred in mid-2015.

With a reserve and resource of more than 214Mt with a grade of between 6% and 6.5% zinc, the mine has an estimated LoM of more than 30 years.

In November 2017, VZI collaborated with GE South Africa to unveil a greenfields digitalisation initiative at the Gamsberg project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.