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Vedanta to further strengthen ties in Africa; to invest in metals, minerals

Gamsberg, which is in the Northern Cape, holds one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc sulphide deposits, with approximately 160 Mt of defined ore resources.

For a natural resources company like Vedanta, South Africa offers a unique opportunity with its wealth of diverse natural resources, Agarwal said. The London-listed firm mines copper in Zambia at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and produces zinc and lead concentrate at Black Mountain Mining (BMM) in South Africa.

Mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources will invest a total Dollars 1 billion (about Rs 6,600 crore) in its Gamsberg mine project in South Africa, which is one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc deposits.

The head of the Indian natural resources company, with interests in oil and gas, zinc-lead-silver, copper, iron-ore, aluminium and commercial energy, announced that Vedanta would be signing two memorandums of understanding with South African companies as part of the delegation accompanying Modi.

A year ago was not an easy time to be starting a zinc mine but Vedanta’s timing has proved opportune in that zinc, which has been unloved for so long, is back in fashion.

Groundbreaking at Gamsberg signalled the start of the development of a 250 000 t/y opencast zinc mine, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure at the mining town of Aggeneys, 113 km north-east of Springbok, where Vedanta is engaged in a multi-year $782-million Southern African Gamsberg-Skorpion integrated zinc project.

“I believe that this is the largest project going on in Africa also South Africa has a tremendous mining skill and India does not have that, we have taken a lot of mining companies, spent nearly 200 million dollars on these South African companies to take the South African contractors to India to develop our mines – so it is a two-way business”.

The Durban-born Naidoo made that comment in reference to this year’s final shipment of zinc from Vedanta Resources’ Lisheen mine in Ireland – also acquired from Anglo American – which brought to an end the flow of 120 000 t of zinc a year from Ireland’s now-closed Tipperary province mine.

The MoUs are for the development and supply of equipment and transfer of technology, with an aim to improve safety and productivity at the mechanised underground mines of Vedanta’s subsidiary, Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL).

Some 125 South Africans work on various HZL sites across India and Vedanta has awarded projects worth nearly $300 million to at least seven companies based in South Africa to date. BMM is the largest private employer in the Bushmanland and Namaqua region, providing employment for 1,300 people. As such, the company has committed to all closure processes reflecting best practice in terms of sustainability and environmental rehabilitation.

Source: Equilibrio informativo

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