Vedanta plans N$6.5bn Namibia refinery project, seeks reduced NamPower tariff

January 29, 2023

Vedanta Resources, a global metals company, has announced plans to invest N$6.5 billion in the conversion and expansion of its Namibian refinery.

The project's success, however, hinges on NamPower, offering reduced electricity tariffs.

The company intends to feed the refinery with materials from its existing oxide pit and sulphide concentrate from its Gamsberg operation in South Africa, after converting and expanding the refinery to treat sulphide concentrate.

According to Vedanta, the conversion project will expand the current refinery capacity from 150,000 t of metal to 300,000 t and create 1,500 jobs.

Pushpender Singla, Executive Director and CFO of Vedanta, stated, "We are fully committed to see this plan through. However, the refinery requires reduced electricity tariffs from energy company NamPower to be economically feasible. There are great mining investment opportunities in Africa, and Vedanta remains committed to unlocking some of these opportunities, but government support remains key for Vedanta to unlock these investments."

The Skorpion Zinc mine and refinery, which were acquired by Vedanta from Anglo in 2010 and had been in operation since 2003, were placed under care and maintenance in May 2020.

Currently, a team of 35 employees looks after the asset while the company works on the conversion of the current refinery. Once completed, the refinery will process zinc concentrate from Vedanta Group companies located in South Africa to add value in Namibia and export the refined product.

To date, Vedanta claims to have invested over N$29.2 billion in Southern Africa and contributed over N$65 million in corporate social responsibility projects in South Africa and Namibia over the last nine years.

It is not yet clear how Vedanta's plans to sell Skorpion Zinc in Namibia as part of a larger disposal of its international zinc operations to Hindustan Zinc for N$51.5 billion, a company in which it holds a 65% stake, will impact the planned Namibian investment.-The Brief/Mining Weekly






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Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2023 08:48

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