31 Mai 2021 | Geschäft

Billions to revive Skorpion Zinc

The availability and affordability of power will determine the success of the Namzinc Refinery Conversion Project.

Further restart of Skorpion Refinery will also contribute significantly to local community. - VZI

Jo-Maré Duddy - Vedanta Zinc International’s investment of about N$6.5 billion in the Namzinc Refinery Conversion Project will turn Namibia into a net exporter of zinc metal.

Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), owner of Skorpion Zinc near Rosh Pinah, on Friday said its “accelerated focus” is currently on the project which will enable co-treatment of both sulphides and oxides to produce refined metal.

“The successful execution of this project will result in Namibia being the only country in Africa continent to produce refined SHG (Special High Grade) zinc,” the company said in statement.

The project will create about 2 000 jobs, which according to VZI, will make it “the single biggest investment in //Kharas region”.

“Further restart of Skorpion Refinery will also contribute significantly to local community. The production capacity is planned at 150KT per annum with plan to expand to 300KT per annum with the introduction of latest technology and required modifications and additions to existing processing plant,” it said.

‘SIGNIFICANT WORK’

VZI said “significant work” has been put into project.

“Once construction is completed, the refinery is to process zinc concentrate from Gamsberg South Africa and add value in Namibia and export the refined product - not only in South Africa but elsewhere in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and beyond.

“It will potentially beneficiate zinc concentrates from local zinc mines in Namibia and then export the refined product. In addition to zinc production, Skorpion Zinc will also produce sulphuric acid, that may be available for local and export markets,” VZI said.

The project’s success depends on few critical factors of which the most significant is availability and affordability of power, according to the group. “VZI is currently in discussions with government and other key stakeholders to ensure the availability of power at affordable rates.”

Skorpion Zinc has been under care and maintenance since 1 May 2020.

VZI said it enlisted the services of geotechnical experts, SRK Consultants, to do a feasibility study of mining the remaining ore safely.

“We remain optimistic that, we will, in the near future resume mining the remaining ore but this will be feasible only with the refinery conversion project being executed,” VZI said.

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