Development of Gamsberg project was announced in November 2014, which included development of 4 million tonne per annum (MTPA) open pit zinc mine, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure. Vedanta expects ore production to start from 2018 with 9-12 month ramp-up to full production.
"We will invest a total of USD 1 billion in the Gamesberg project over the next three years, of which around USD 150 million has already been invested," said Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal. Gamsberg is estimated to have around 160 million tonnes (MT) of defined ore (Zinc) resources.
On investments in Africa, Agarwal said: "Vedanta Resources has invested around Rs 25,000 crore in Africa in the last 13 years. We have a strong presence in Namibia, Zambia and South Africa."
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. It also produces special high grade zinc metal at Skorpion Zinc in Namibia.
On the Gamesberg project, it has invested USD 150 million and will invest USD 200 million each this year and in 2017. After the production starts at the mines, the firm will invest around USD 450 million on ramp-ups during 2018 and 2019.
Agarwal, who is part of a business delegation to South Africa led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today announced that the group will be signing two memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with South African companies.
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).
For a natural resources company like Vedanta, South Africa offers a unique opportunity with its wealth of diverse natural resources, Agarwal said.