Production of ore at the Munali Nickel Mine in Southern Province with an initial investment of US$40 million is expected to resume in February next year with an increased tonnage of 60,000per month.
Operations at the mine stopped in November 2011 due to low ore prices on the international market and poor operational performance by previous owners.
The mine is now owned by Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM) of the United Kingdom after acquiring rights from Jinchuan Group of China.
According to CNM managing director, Simon Purkiss, production of ore would start at 40,000 tonnes per month building up to 60,000 tonnes within six months of commencement.
Mr Purkiss explained that CNM had completed numerous studies on the Munali Property to improve the economics of the operation and enable the mine to resume production.
He said the studies included changes which had reduced the operating costs to make the mine economic at low nickel prices.
Mr Purkiss was responding to a press query from the Daily Nation.
“These studies have included the re-evaluation of the geological data, a new mining method to fully extract the ore body, improved metallurgy to improve the grade of the ore to the mill circuit and to produce separate nickel and copper concentrates.”
“The decision has been taken to bring the mine back into production and first ore production is planned for February 2019,” he said.
Mr Purkiss said a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was completed in 2017 and approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency this year.
He said the orders for the new mining equipment and the modifications to the metallurgical operations had since been placed.
“All associated environmental studies have been completed to ensure Munali continues to operate in accordance with all authorizing agencies,” he said.
By Daily Nation Reporter,thursday July 5, 2018.