Bindura plans new open pit nickel mine

BINDURA Nickel Corporation (BNC) plans to build a new open pit mine at a site in central Zimbabwe where it has discovered 30 million tonnes of ore deposits, a company official said on Wednesday.



a, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Bindura, majority owned by Mwana Africa Holdings, a consortium of black businessmen, is Zimbabwe’s largest nickel producer.


Corporate affairs manager James July said the Hunter’s Road project was key to Bindura’s future, adding that production was due to come on stream in 2011 and that the company could seek external funding to help develop the project.


He did not say what estimated annual production would be from the new Hunter’s Road mine, which would add a third mine to the firm’s existing two operations – the Trojan mine in Bindura town and Shangani in the south.


“The resource consists of 30 million tonnes of ore containing approximately 125 000 tonnes of recoverable nickel valued at close to US$2 billion at current prices,” July told Reuters.


“Besides the technical challenges, the project will require a capital investment of US$90 million, which will probably involve a joint venture or external funding partners.”


A BNC technical team was now in the process of carrying out evaluations to determine the geology, mining and processing requirements at Hunter’s Road.


Hunters’ Road would be an open pit mine with a life of at least 11 years. It would have a concentrator on site but the concentrate would be transported to BNC’s smelter and refinery in Bindura, 65 km northwest of Harare, for processing.


The mining firm said in a statement last week it was investing US$11 million in deepening the shaft at its Trojan Mine in Bindura to extend the mine’s ore production to 2013 while another US$8 million would be used to upgrade the concentrator at Trojan. It did not give production figures.


The company is carrying out a study at its Shangani Mine in southern Zimbabwe aimed at accessing more ore resources and extend the life of the mine from 2008 to 2013.


Zimbabwe’s major nickel producers are BNC and RioZim. – Reuter.

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