Skorpion to Benefit From N$8,6 Billion Investment

SESA Sterlite has approved development of the Gamsberg-Skorpion Integrated Zinc Project, in South Africa and Namibia for US$782 million (about N$8,6 billion).

The money will be invested over a three-year period, to develop an open pit zinc mine at Gamsberg, South Africa, as well as the conversion of the Skorpion Zinc refinery in Karas region.

Sesa said on Friday that the majority of the investment, approximately US$630 million (N$6,9 billion), will go towards developing an open-pit zinc mine, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure at Gamsberg, one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc deposits.

The balance of the investment will be used to convert the refinery at the Skorpion Mine at Rosh Pinah, thereby enabling it to refine zinc concentrates from the Gamsberg mine into special high grade zinc metal.

LONG TERM

“The Gamsberg-Skorpion Integrated Zinc Project is central to Vedanta’s long term aspirations for southern Africa,” said Tom Albanese, CEO of Sesa Sterlite.

He said Vedanta estimates that the Gamsberg project, which is located near the town of Aggeneys in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, will create 1 500 jobs during construction and result in approximately 500 permanent jobs.

The Gamsberg project will be operated under the auspices of Black Mountain Mining (BMM), which is 74% owned by Sesa Sterlite Ltd. The remaining 26% interest in BMM is held by Exxaro Resources, a diversified resources company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“The output from Gamsberg, coupled with extending the life of the world class refinery at the Skorpion mine in Namibia, will make the Southern African region one of the most important suppliers of refined zinc globally,” said Albanese.

This will also result in these operations forming one of the cornerstones of the operations in Africa and will partially offset the loss of volume resulting from the end of life of mine at Lisheen in Ireland, he said.

LIFESPAN

The first phase of the Gamsberg open pit mine is expected to have a total lifespan of approximately 13 years with the first ore likely to be produced in 201718.

The Gamsberg project involves the development, construction and commissioning of a four million tonne open-pit zinc mine, concentrator and associated infrastructure at Gamsberg. The company expects to commence construction of the new mine during the first quarter of next year.

Sesa’s business primarily involves exploring and processing minerals and oil and gas. The company produces oil and gas, zinc, lead, silver, copper, iron ore, aluminium and commercial power and has a presence across India, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, Australia, Liberia and Sri Lanka.

Sesa is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Plc, a London-listed company. It is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India and has an American depositary receipt-a negotiable security that represents securities of a non-US company that trades in the US financial markets-listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source : The Namibian