South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa today officially opened Vedanta Zinc International’s Gamsberg mine near Aggeneys in Northern Cape province.
Vedanta Resources is a globally diversified natural resources company, the largest in India and sixth largest in the world. The new mine is part of Vedanta’s Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations and is located about 30km from BMM’s base at Aggeneys.
Gamsberg will exploit one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc ore bodies in the world that comprises an open pit mine and a dedicated processing plant.
In the context of improved trade relations between South Africa and India and on the back of South Africa’s inaugural investment conference, President Ramaphosa said during the Business Forum on the occasion of South Africa’s State Visit to India, “South Africa recognises and appreciates Vedanta Resources’ investment of USD1.6-billion (R21.8-billion) in the Gamsberg Zinc mine in the Northern Cape.”
The first phase of the zinc mine, which has an estimated lifespan of more than 13 years, is an investment of USD400-million (over R5.5-billion), which employed more than 3 000 people at the height of construction.
Between 800 and 850 people will be permanently employed once Gamsberg is in production.
An additional USD350-million to USD400-million investment is planned for the second phase as part of a total investment plan, including future projects, estimated at USD800-million.
The new Vedanta venture constitutes the basis for an economic node that will benefit Northern Cape province as a whole.
The company has invested more than R44-million on skills development, education, health and enterprise development and municipal infrastructure support projects in the area.