Vedanta Zinc’s Gamsberg mine resumes production following November accident

Gamsberg Zinc mine

PRODUCTION at Vedanta Zinc International’s (VZI’s) Gamsberg mine in the Northern Cape of South Africa had resumed following an accident in November in which an employee died whilst the body of another has yet to be recovered.

A total of eight workers were rescued after a pit wall collapsed and trapped them underground. The mine was shut throughout December whilst the South African government’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) investigated the incident. The company didn’t specify what capacity it was currently operating at, said Reuters.

The DMRE granted permission to commence stockpile feed and mining at the East pit in the last portion of December, followed by permission to commence mining at the West Pit in the first week of January,” Vedanta Zinc International management said in response to Reuters.

“No ore mining production occurred in December, with a gradual ramp-up expected in January,” the company said. The closure of the mine spurred supply concerns, pushing zinc prices higher, said Reuters.

At full production capacity in phase 1, Gamsberg will produce 250,000 tons a year of zinc in concentrate, according to Vedanta’s website.

Gamsberg is one of the few new mines to have been commissioned in South Africa in recent years. In October, VZI said that total mineral reserves and resources at its Southern Africa deposits increased 17% in the year ended March 31 following a three-year exploration campaign.

Mineral reserves were also higher owing to the completion of the group’s Gamsberg Phase II expansion study which is looking at expanding the 250,000 tons a year mine and smelter to as much as 600,000 tons annually.

The first phase investment totalled some $400m.