Munali Nickel reopening set for 2019


MUNALI Nickel Mine is set to reopen early next year after Consolidated Nickel Mines secured a restart finance of US$40 million.


Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM), through its local subsidiary, Mabiza Resources Ltd (MRL), has announced that it had completed numerous studies on the Munali property to improve the economics of the operation to enable the mine to come back into production.


“After successfully securing re-start finance in the order of US$40million, the decision was taken in June 2018 to bring the mine back into production with the first ore production planned for quarter one, 2019,” MRL stated. “All key personnel have since been recruited. On 14th September 2018 after seven years of care and maintenance, a successful blast underground was undertaken. Construction of the first ever Dense Media Separator (DMS) Plant in Zambia, which will improve head grade from one per cent to two per cent and improve recoveries is in progress and is expected to be commissioned before the end of the year. Some key mining equipment has arrived on site while rehabilitation of some available units was ongoing. Process Plant rehabilitation was on schedule. Orders for other new mining equipment have been placed. The mine site has been fully fenced, as required by government legislation.”


MRL stated that the recommencement of mining and processing activities was expected to impact 400 direct jobs while an estimated 350 indirect jobs would be created through contractors, subcontractors and spillover effects as a result of operations at the mine.


“The estimated revenues over the projected mine life of seven years are in the order of US$150 million arising from salaried employees, PAYE (Pay As You Earn), Corporate Income Tax (30 per cent), Withholding Taxes, payments for mine consumables (ZESCO Power, Cement and Fuel) and further Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities,” it stated.


The Munali Nickel Mine (“Munali”) located in Mazabuka District which is about 80kms south of Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, has been on care and maintenance since November 2011.


Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM) acquired the rights to operate the mine from the owners Jinchuan Group out of China in 2014.


CNM, through its local subsidiary, Mabiza Resources Ltd (MRL) now says it has completed numerous studies on the Munali property to improve the economics of the operation to enable the mine to come back into production.


“These studies have included the re-evaluation of the geological data, a new mining method to fully extract the ore body, improved metallurgy to improve the grade of the ore to the mill circuit in order to have value addition by producing separate nickel and copper concentrates,” MRL stated. “These changes have potential to reduce the operating costs to make the mine economical at low nickel prices.”


It stated that all associated environmental studies had been completed to ensure Munali continued to operate in accordance with all applicable legislation.


MRL stated that a comprehensive Environmental/Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was completed in 2017 and approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in 2018.

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