President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday officially open the R5.5 billion investment zinc mine in the Northern Cape, the Presidency said on Sunday.
The Gamsberg Mine near Aggeneys is located in the mining centre between Springbok and Pofadder and will contribute to job creation and skills development.
The new mine is owned by India’s globally diversified natural resources company Vedanta Resources Limited as part of their Black Mountain Mining (BMM) operations.
The Presidency said Gamsberg will exploit one of the largest known, undeveloped zinc ore bodies in the world and will comprise an open pit mine and a dedicated processing plant.
“The first phase of the zinc mine, which has an estimated lifespan of over 30 years, is an investment of US$400 million, (over R5.5 billion).
At the height of construction more than 3000 people were employed.
“Around 700 people will be employed permanently once Gamsberg is in production,” the Presidency said.
A further US$400 investment is planned for the second phase as part of a total investment plan, including future projects, estimated at over a billion US dollars.
Communities in the area have not been left out with the company having already invested over R44 million in skills development, education, health and enterprise development and municipal infrastructure support projects in the area.
Vedanta also supports and prioritises local procurement, creating positive spinoffs for small and medium enterprises in the area.
The Presidency said Vedanta’s investment has triggered a new wave of industrial and economic development in the country and further solidifies South Africa and India’s bilateral cooperation.
President Ramaphosa is expected to open the mine along with Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas.