Indian firm Taurian Manganese is planning to build a manganese processing plant in central Zambia with an investment of $150m.

Taurian Manganese director Imran Merchant told Reuters that construction of the plant is expected to start by June 2011.

“It will be the largest manganese processing plant in Africa with three furnaces that will have a combined peak capacity of 60,000 tons a month,” Merchant said.

Production will start in 2012 and the plant will produce about 720,000 tons of manganese a year by 2014.

The firm will increase it’s output gradually, as Zambia’s power company ZESCO will only be able to provide the plant with the full power requirement of 100MW by 2014.