Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), a subsidiary of London-listed Vedanta Resources, has launched a feasibility study on the development and construction of a Zinc Smelter-Refinery Complex in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
The feasibility study will evaluate the infrastructural requirements of the complex. It is envisaged that the beneficiation facility will require around 200MW of additional power, and additional water supply, the company said.
The global mining conglomerate said in February it might accelerate expansion of its African zinc operations to take advantage of a surge in prices of the metal.
Zinc prices have rallied to their highest since 2007, boosting overall profits of Vedanta, which has zinc projects in India, South Africa and Namibia.
The company announced its plans to invest between $700 million and $800 million with the the first phase of the complex expected to have a capacity of 250 000 tonnes per year of finished zinc metal, and matching Gamsberg’s expected annual output by early 2019.
Gamsberg is one of the largest unexploited zinc resources in the world. It has a reserve and resource of more than 200Mt and an estimated potential life-of-mine of 30 years.
The smelting plant will make Gamsberg, one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc resource, a fully integrated zinc production site.