Vedanta Limited in South Africa has launched a new iron ore product line this year at its Black Mountain Mine (BMM) operations in the mineral-rich Northern Cape province to make it competitive, globally cost-efficient and sustainable.
According to the Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), it has undertaken advanced steps towards developing a 3 MTPA (Million Tonnes Per Annum) iron ore project, which is expected to grow significantly in the current financial year after the successful first production from a pilot plant.
“The Iron Ore project will add another scalable product line to the VZI-BMM operations and offer the best-in-class product to our customers," VZI Business Head Laxman Shekhawat said on Tuesday.
“The first part of the project will utilise feed from existing operations and produce high-grade iron ore and dense media separation products (DMS), to be utilised as feedstock for the steel and coal industry respectively,” Shekhawat said.
“This innovative project will assist in transforming our existing VZI-BMM operations to be competitive, globally cost-efficient, and sustainable. It will also enhance the life of mine of the existing operations, thereby enhancing our environmental, social, and governance footprint across our Southern African operations,” Shekhawat added.
BMM worked with global industry experts and partners to design a a process capable of producing a high-quality product.
As one of the largest private-sector employers Aggeneys in the Northern Cape, VZI employs approximately 2,700 people at their current operations and has brought value to Aggeneys and the communities in the surrounding Khâi-Ma region through work opportunities and ongoing social development projects.
The sparsely populated Northern Cape province is said to be rich in minerals like zinc, nickel, lead, copper and cobalt.
For the period 2014-2019, BMM spent 20 million rands on local economic development projects.
“We are proud of the impact our current operations have in our communities. We truly believe that the rollout of this new iron ore project will allow us the opportunity to create employment opportunities as well as provide ongoing support to our social development projects in the region,” Shekhawat said.
BMM comprises two underground shafts and a processing plant, which have been producing copper, lead and zinc, with silver as a by-product.
Vedanta Resources acquired BMM, which has been in operation since 1980, from multinational mining giant Anglo American in 2010.
Vedanta holds 69.6 per cent of BMM with Exxaro Resources, a leading South African Black Economic Empowerment company owning 24.4 per cent and the BMM Employee Share Ownership Plan the balance of 6 per cent.
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