May 2, 2018 / 11:22 AM / 5 months ago

Vedanta considers building zinc smelter in South Africa

(Reuters) - Vedanta Resources’ Zinc International unit said it was exploring the feasibility of developing and constructing a smelter to process zinc mined from its flagship Gamsberg project in South Africa.

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies past the logo of Vedanta installed on the facade of its headquarters in Mumbai, India January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

The global mining conglomerate said in February it may accelerate expansion of its African zinc operations to take advantage of a surge in prices of the metal.

Zinc prices have rallied to their highest since 2007, boosting overall profits of Vedanta, which has zinc projects in India, South Africa and Namibia.

The company could invest between $700 million and $800 million at the Gamsberg refinery, Vedanta Zinc International said bit.ly/2Kxxt14.

The first phase of the smelter-refinery complex is expected to have a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per year of finished zinc metal, matching Gamsberg’s expected annual output by early 2019.

The smelting plant will make Gamsberg, one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc resource, a fully integrated zinc production site.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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