Vedanta Zinc to produce ‘green’ zinc in Northern Cape, says CFO Pushpender Singla

The zinc resources company has invested R7 billion in a new expansion project in the Northern Cape.

Vedanta Zinc International will be investing R7 billion into the Gamsberg Phase 2 expansion project in the Northern Cape, making the company, and South Africa, the largest zinc producer in Africa.

The investment will double the mine and plant capacity of Gamsberg from four million tons to eight million tons a year, increasing output from 300,000 tons to half a million tons of metal.

Vedanta Zinc CFO Pushpender Singla told Mining Weekly that the construction of the project will take 18 to 22 months and bring significant socio-economic benefits to the Northern Cape, including up to 2,500 jobs during construction and up to 1,000 permanent jobs upon completion. The project will form part of the Namakwa Special Economic Zone and will contribute to secondary industries and downstream beneficiation.

According to Pushpender, the company is committed to producing ‘green’ zinc from this expansion to make the Northern Cape province emission free. In addition to the Gamsberg investment, Vedanta also invested around R600 million in a magnetite project last year, and is in an advanced stage of locking in a renewable energy contract.

“We are trying to convert our tailings into one of the best quality magnetite. So, on the one side we will reduce the impact on the environment, on the other side we will create another product line and employment for another 250 people in the Northern Cape,” he explained.

The Namakwa flower and succulent biodiversity covers a large area of the Northern Cape where the project will take place, and Vedanta has undergone conservation and nursery work to ensure that all plants are replaced during the rehabilitation process.