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SPECIAL FEATURE

Anchor investment The value proposition of the Namakwa SEZ is based on the existence of the Vedanta Gamsberg Zinc Mine and the proposed building of a smelter by Vedanta Zinc International. These would be the anchor tenants of the SEZ. In 2010 Vedanta Resources acquired Black Mountain Mining (Pty) Ltd from Anglo American. Black Mountain Mining (Pty) Ltd, part of Vedanta Zinc International, owns and operates the Gamsberg Zinc Mine. By 2014 environmental authorisation had been granted to Vedanta, together with a waste management and water-use licence. Versatile zinc offers great investment opportunities Zinc is an incredibly versatile and useful product so there are many investment opportunities related to Gamsberg and the proposed smelter within the Namakwa SEZ. Uses of zinc Coats and protects steel from corrosion, temperature and oxygen. Used in the automotive parts industry for door-lock housing, pawls, retractor gears and pulleys in seatbelt systems, camshafts and sensor components. Zinc oxide is widely used in the manufacture of several products such as paints, rubber, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, inks, soaps, batteries, textiles and electrical equipment. Identified investment opportunities Fertiliser phosphates Sulphuric acid as by-product could allow for the establishment of a sulphuric acid plant to support and stimulate agriculture in the province. Zinc-coated steel The availability of locally-produced zinc concentrate creates production opportunities at steel plants throughout the country. Battery storage Zinc is a cheaper product than lithium for use in newtechnology batteries. New technology is creating opportunities for zinc-bromide redox flow batteries. Copper smelter project Potential for further exploration and mining in the region, which the smelter could stimulate.

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Development work began in June 2016 and the mine is currently mining four-million tons per annum and producing up to 250 000/tpa of zinc metal in concentrate for export. Th e m i n e’s a p p rove d capacity to produce zinc and lead concentrate is 10-million/ tpa. The planned increase in volumes will lead to the concentrator plant producing 1.1-million/tpa of zinc and lead concentrate. The opencast mine and concentrator plant are being developed in phases. The construction of the concentrator plant began in 2017 with the official opening in February 2019. Phase 1 is complete, and planning work for the commencement of Phase 2 is currently underway.

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