Africa|Business|Construction|Energy|Health|Indaba|Manufacturing|Mining|PROJECT|Projects|Refinery|Resources|Manufacturing |Environmental|Infrastructure
Africa|Business|Construction|Energy|Health|Indaba|Manufacturing|Mining|PROJECT|Projects|Refinery|Resources|Manufacturing |Environmental|Infrastructure

Vedanta Zinc International: Investing in Africa

27th January 2023


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In line with the African Mining Indaba theme of 2023, ‘Unlocking African Mining Investment’, Vedanta Resources pledged a R21-billion growth investment in South Africa for the development of the Gamsberg mine with beneficiation near Aggeneys in the Northern Cape, and associated projects. 

This commitment was made during the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference in 2018 to partner with the government to achieve its vision of a $100-billion investment to drive inclusive growth and employment in the country.

Vedanta has obliged to this commitment with an investment of R6-billion into Gamsberg Phase I which is now fully operational and has created more than 1 000 direct jobs. In addition to this, a new investment of 

R7-billion into the Gamsberg Phase II expansion project was approved in early 2022 and is currently in the early stages of construction. This project will create 2 000 to 2 500 jobs during the construction phase and 800 jobs during the operation phase. The company remains committed to investing a further 

R10-billion into the development and construction of the Gamsberg zinc smelter in the near future, subject to economic viability. This investment forms part of the R21-billion pledge.

“Vedanta Zinc International’s (VZI’s) investment has created significant socio-economic benefits and transformed the local and provincial economy, as well as South Africa,” says VZI Executive Director and CFO Pushpender Singla.

The company is also expecting to restart metal production from its existing 150 000 t refinery, in Namibia. The VZI team is confident to feed the refinery from its existing oxide pit and sulphide concentrate feed from its Gamsberg operation after it converts and expands the refinery to treat sulphide concentrate. The conversion project, with an investment of R6.5-billion, would expand the current refinery capacity from 150 000 t of metal to 300 000 t. The opening of the refinery could create 1 500 jobs and have vast socio-economic benefits.

“We are fully committed to seeing this plan through. However, the refinery requires reduced electricity tariffs from energy company NamPower to be economically feasible. There are great mining investment opportunities in Africa, and Vedanta remains committed to unlocking some of them, but government support remains key for us,” says Singla.

Being the largest producer of zinc concentrate in Africa, VZI had already committed significant investment into zinc mining and beneficiation. The company is committed and has plans for setting up a zinc refinery complex in South Africa, which is now at the feasibility stage. The proposed beneficiation plant will make Gamsberg a fully integrated zinc production site, with the mine, concentrator plant, and refinery complex at a single location - making it the first fully integrated zinc manufacturing facility in South Africa. 

Vedanta’s ‘Business with Purpose’ model, which is designed to ensure that host communities are left better off as a result of the operational investment, remains one of VZI’s key focus areas. To date, Vedanta has invested over $1.7-billion in Southern Africa, and contributed over R65-million in corporate social responsibility projects in South Africa and Namibia over the last nine years. Childcare and education support programmes benefit more than 1 800 children at an average cost of R6-million a year. In South Africa, the company’s social projects are aimed at skills development, livelihoods, education, health, enterprise development, and municipal infrastructure support. The company also supports various youth and sports clubs as part of its corporate social investment.

In line with Vedanta Group’s vision of ‘Transforming For Good’, environmental, social and corporate governance is the key focus for the company to transform its communities, transform its workplace and transform the planet. The company is fully focused on robust community programmes to serve 100% of their host communities, create the best workplace for their employees and develop a fully green energy solution to reduce carbon emissions to nil.  

“It is our wish and intention that our investment and activity in South Africa specifically represents far more than the simple influx of capital into developing and operating a mining asset,” says Singla.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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