JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining company Vedanta Resources said on Friday that its Vedanta Zinc International subsidiary had delivered strong zinc production at Black Mountain in the Northern Cape and at Skorpion in Namibia in the three months to the end of December, and that the $400-million Gamsberg zinc project was on track for first production in mid-2018.
The London-listed and India-domiciled company, headed by executive chairperson Anil Agarwal, reported 21%-higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $41.068-million on higher volumes and prices, maintaining a robust 34% Ebitda margin.
Third-quarter production by Vedanta Zinc International, headed by CEO Deshnee Naidoo, was a 43%-higher 47 000 t year-on-year, with Skorpion recording its highest quarterly production in the last six quarters at 26 000 t.
Black Mountain recorded its highest quarterly metal-in-concentrate production in the last four years of 21 000 t.
Construction of the concentrator is under way at Gamsberg, with cold commissioning expected in the first quarter of the company’s 2019 financial year and power and water infrastructure 90% complete. Eventual full production of 250 000 t/y is earmarked.
Seventy per cent of Gamsberg’s prestripping is complete and a 500 000 t ore stockpile is targeted ahead of first feed. Waste stripping is expected to be fully complete by the fourth quarter of the company’s 2019 financial year.
As reported by Mining Weekly Online in December, Vedanta Zinc International is implementing a digitalisation initiative that will see a ‘smart ore movement’ system built into Gamsberg to ensure that all available information on the state of the mine, the quality of ore, the conditions of the processing plant and the value of the output product is made available to the mine management team in real time and presented in a way that allows for minute-by-minute decision-making.
At Skorpion, the pit 112 extension project is progressing and waste stripping is expected to be fully complete by the fourth quarter of the company’s 2019 financial year.
First ore was extracted ahead of schedule in November 2017 at a project that will increase Skorpion’s mine life by another 2.5 years and contribute 250 000 t of metal over that period.
Vedanta acquired zinc assets, including Gamsberg, from Anglo American in 2010 for $1 338-million.