March 22, 2011 / 4:11 PM / in 8 years

Russia's Renova launches S.Africa manganese mine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Industrial giant Renova, controlled by Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg, said on Tuesday its joint venture in South Africa had launched a manganese mine to speed up tapping the country’s huge mineral resources.

It said in a statement the venture, the United Manganese of Kalahari, in which Renova holds 49 percent, aimed to supply to the market this year 1.8 million tonnes of the metal, a key element in steel production.

UMC’s deposit is estimated to hold 282 million tonnes of manganese, of which 41.3 million tonnes are proven reserves, the statement said.

So far, UMC has invested $200 million in the project.

Renova, established just months before the 1991 Soviet Union collapse, is an investment house with interest in a range of industries both in Russia and abroad.

These include TNK-BP, a Russian joint venture of Britain’s BP, the world’s top aluminium producer UC RUSAL, Swiss technology group Oerlikon and engineering group Sulzer.

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