Zambian firm invests US$40m in Mazabuka nickel mine


CONSOLIDATED Nickel Mines Limited (CNM), a wholly owned operating company of Mabiza Resources Limited, will this year invest about US$40 million in the Munali nickel mine in Mazabuka, says company managing director Simon Purkiss.

Mr Purkiss said in an interview that the company would before the end of this year invest about US$40 million in the production of nickel metal which the company would be exporting.

“We intend to invest about US$40 million by the end of the year; we are completing the feasibility study by the end of this year, and it will then take us 12 months to construct a new plant,” he said.

He said this would make the mine more financially robust to low nickel prices being experienced on the international market.

“We are still waiting for the nickel price to recover, so we are still not too sure when we will start the production of nickel concentrate, hence our focus on these other projects; the mine is still not operational but as soon as the prices improve we are ready to start,” he said.

Mr Purkiss said the mine would be producing 5,000 tonnes of nickel metal per annum.

He said the company was also looking at value addition plans for long-term nickel metal production.

“Since we took over as Mabiza Resources, our Zambian company, we have spent US$15 million on maintaining the 60 employees, improving the infrastructure and test work to improve the performance of the process.

“In the meantime we have continued with our community work with the relocation of the community inside the mining area, all being moved to their new farms.  We have started construction of the clinic, this completes our commitment to the local community,” he said