Zambia’s Munali Nickel mine has resumed operations after an eight-year hiatus. President Edgar Lungu flagged off the exportation of nickel ore from the Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka District earlier on today.
Munali Nickel Mine has been off operations for the last eight years since being placed under care and maintenance. This is according to a programme released by Southern Province Permanent Secretary Mwangala Liomba. Consolidated Nickel Mines (CNM), a UK based firm acquired the rights to operate the mine from the owners Jinchuan Group out of China in 2014. The company has since invested well over US$55m to have the nickel mine up and running again.
CNM, through its local subsidiary, Mabiza Resources Ltd (MRL), has 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 $40m, the decision was taken in June 2018 to bring the mine back into production. The first ore production was planned for the first quarter of 2019. 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 1% to 2% and improve recoveries.
The recommencement of mining and processing activities is expected to impact 400 direct jobs while an estimated 350 indirect jobs will be created through contractors, subcontractors and spill over effects as a result of operations at the mine.