Feasibility For Vedanta’s Gamsberg Project Underway

Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), a subsidiary of AIM-listed Vedanta Resources, recently started a feasibility study into the development and construction of a Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex at its Gamsberg project at Black Mountain Mining, Northern Cape.

The project entails a fully integrated zinc production site, with the mine, concentrator and smelter-refinery complex at single location, making it the first integrated zinc manufacturing facility in South Africa.

It is envisaged that the first phase of the smelter-refinery complex will have a capacity of 250,000tpa of finished zinc metal. As the entire Gamsberg project has been developed in a modular fashion, so the smelter-refinery complex could also be expanded to align with Gamsberg Phases 2 and 3, VZI said in a statement.

This feasibility study is in line with Vedanta’s commitment to beneficiate primary product – a model followed by the group in India. The Gamsberg refinery could see a further investment by Vedanta of between US$700m and US$800m.

Gamsberg is one of the largest unexploited zinc resources in the world with a reserve and resource of more than 200mt.

Phase 1 of the $400m development is well-underway and includes the Gamsberg mine which is scheduled for first production in mid-2018, and full production in nine to 12 months, the company said in a statement.

According to VZI, there is need for additional infrastructure, including power (200MW) and water supply, and other economic and social infrastructure requirements. These investment opportunities could be a game-changer for the region, and contribute to economic growth in South Africa as a whole, the company said.

Image: Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex - Gamsberg project, Northern Cape
Image: Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex - Gamsberg project, Northern Cape

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