President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday officially open the R5.5bn investment zinc mine in the Northern Cape, the Presidency said.
The Gamsberg Mine near Aggeneys is located in the mining centre between Springbok and Pofadder and will contribute to job creation and skills development.
The new mine is owned by India’s globally diversified natural resources company Vedanta Resources Limited as part of their Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations.
The Presidency said Gamsberg will exploit one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc ore bodies in the world and will comprise an open pit mine and a dedicated processing plant.
“The first phase of the zinc mine, which has an estimated lifespan of over 30 years, is an investment of $400m, (over R5.5 billion), which employed more than 3,000 people at the height of construction.
“Around 700 people will be employed permanently once Gamsberg is in production,” the Presidency said.
A further $400m investment is planned for the second phase as part of a total investment plan, including future projects, estimated at over a billion US dollars.
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Communities in the area have not been left out with the company having already invested over R44m in skills development, education, health and enterprise development and municipal infrastructure support projects in the area.
Vedanta also supports and prioritises local procurement, creating positive spinoffs for small and medium enterprises in the area.
The Presidency said Vedanta’s investment has triggered a new wave of industrial and economic development in the country and further solidifies South Africa and India’s bilateral cooperation.
Ramaphosa is expected to open the mine along with Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas.