Tanzania signs framework agreement for development of Kabanga nickel/cobalt project

THE Tanzanian government has signed a framework agreement with UK-headquartered firm, Kabanga Nickel, to develop the Kabanga Nickel Project – a resource previously drilled by Glencore and Barrick Gold.

The project is 16% owned by the government with the remainder held by Kabanga Nickel which was formed in 2019 to acquire and develop the Kabanga resource.

Glencore and Barrick spent $290m exploring the prospect during the 10 years of their ownership to 2014. No further exploration of the Kabanga Nickel Project is required, but an updated revised mineral statement will be developed, Kabanga Nickel said on Tuesday.

The project is located in the north-west of Tanzania.

Based on the in-situ mineral reserve estimate to date, the Kabanga Nickel Project has 58 million tons at 2.62% nickel containing more than 1.52 million tons or 3.3 billion pounds of nickel. It will support a mine life of at least 30 years with further exploration potential. Kabanga Nickel has also been granted the right to develop a refinery.

In addition to nickel, Kabanga also contains cobalt and copper as co-products. Based on resource estimates, the cobalt grade is “comparatively high” at 0.20% cobalt and contained metal of over 100,000 tons described as “responsibly sourced, non-conflict cobalt”.

Nickel and cobalt are favoured metals in today’s commodities market owing to their use in the electrification of the drive-train and in the development of sustainable energy.

One of the personalities behind Kabanga Nickel is its executive director, Keith Liddell, a veteran of the South African mining sector. “As the world forges ahead with plans to decarbonize, it is increasingly looking towards more sustainable means to satisfy today‚Äôs growing demand for greener inputs to manufacture electric vehicles …” he said.

Kiddell has long worked on the development ‘Kell’ technology which he attempted to have adopted in Zimbabwe for use in new platinum group metal refineries.