One of three pits at the Gamsberg zinc mine in the Northern Cape.
Vedanta will invest R7 billion in expanding its Gamsberg Mine in the Northern Cape to double up its production and become the largest zinc producer in Africa.
The investment, as approved by the diversified miner’s board, will increase Gamsberg’s annual ore production capacity from four million tons to eight million tons and enable it to build another concentrator plant to produce an additional 200 000 tons of zinc metal concentrate.
As a result Vedanta Zinc International is expected to become the largest zinc producer on the continent, with an annual production of 500 000 tons of zinc metal in concentrate.
Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal said the growth investment demonstrates the group’s commitment to Northern Cape and South Africa and will create thousands of jobs to make a significant socioeconomic contribution to Gamsberg’s host communities.
There are over 1 200 permanent personnel currently employed at the Gamsberg Mine. Phase two, as enabled through the R7 billion investment, will create between 1 500 and 2 000 jobs at its peak during the construction phase and between 800 and 1 000 permanent jobs during operations.
“This investment approval indicates Vendanta Zinc International (VZI) commitment to keep growing even amid a pandemic that has halted majority growth investments and threatened the survival of companies across various industries,” said VZI executive director and CFO, Pushpender Singla.
He said the project is also planned to form part of the Namakwa Special Economic Zone, which will contribute and grow secondary industries.
In July last year Vedanta also announced a R600 million investment to recover iron ore from the Black Mountain Mine – which encompasses Gamsberg – tailings to significantly reduce tailings disposal and produce high-quality ore. The first production is expected in September of 2022. The project will create 360 jobs during construction and 250 permanent jobs.
These investments will also unlock new community projects focused on education, health and skills development.