Thursday, 14 May 2015

US$40 Million Needed To Re-Open Munali Nickel Mine

By Paul Shalala and Collins Chama
Aerial shot of Munali Nickel Mine

Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka District has been under care and maintenance after Albidon Mine stopped operations in 2011.

Since then, nothing much has changed to revamp operations at the mine.

The only slim hope is that feasibility studies at the mine have been completed, with positive results.

The results show that the mine has 5.6 Million tonnes of nickel ore.

The company is now looking for US$40 Million to revamp operations at the Mazabuka mine.

Already US$5 million has been spent on technical works at the mine since December last year.

Once fully operational, the mine can produce about 4 thousand tonnes of nickel concentrate annually, with the potential to grow to 6,000 tonnes.

The mine, which was acquired by Britain-based Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM) plc after entering an agreement with the previous owners, Jinchuan in May, is expected to reopen once works are complete and approved by relevant stakeholders.

According to recent media reports, CNM plc managing director Simon Purkiss said the firm, which is expected to invest about US$40 million to reopen the mine is, among other projects, developing an extensive due diligence to re-establish the extent of the ore body. 

CNM is also undertaking extensive metallurgical tests to improve recoveries and visiting other nickel mine operations in the region to examine different operations.

This is according to a response to a press query issued by the company recently.

The Munali Nickel Mine has in the past displaced thousands of small scale farmers who have been relocated to Mugoto area.

The plight of the farmers has been a controversial issue which has been a thorn in the eyes of authorities.

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