PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry of Minerals, Mr Kheri Mahimbali, expressed commitment to ensure the government and the public reap the needed benefits from investments in major mining projects.
He made the commitment over the weekend during the zoom meeting with management of Tembo Nickel Ltd, which also served as a platform to introduce Australian BHP Group Ltd to the ministry.
The Kabanga Nickel Project will be a mine-to-metal operation, producing high-purity battery grade nickel, copper and cobalt refined metals in Tanzania.
Tembo Nickel is owned 84 per cent by Kabanga Nickel Limited, and 16 per cent by the government and it has been formally established for the mining, processing and refining of Class 1 nickel with cobalt and copper co-products.
The PS assured the investors of the government maximum support for smooth implementation of the project so that the increased revenue as well as other benefits attached are met.
Speaking during the meeting, Tanzania Mining Commission -Local Content Commissioner, Ms Janeth Lekishengo said they will meet with the Tembo Nickel Ltd management and their stakeholders the earliest to plan on local content issues.
On his part, Tembo Nickel Chief executive Officer Benedict Busunzu said having both investors on the project increases the company’s confidence.
BHP being the largest mining using the LZM’s refining technology and the available resources such as people will enable it to achieve the first nickel mine in the country.
Vice-President Business Development, Ms Anne Nicacio, said BHP investment in Tembo reflects the good work by the government to attract investors in the mining sector and other sectors.
He said BHP is committed to contribute to the economies, partners, environment, and communities and is excited that this aligns with the government mining sector development vision.
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP has invested 50 million US dollars in Tanzania’s Kabanga Nickel, with a further 50 million US dollars investment agreed subject to conditions, as demand for the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries grows.
The investment marks a re-entry into Africa’s mining sector after BHP unbundled Perth-based metals miner South32 in 2015 which operates mines in South Africa and Australia.
Kabanga’s deposit contains in-situ nickel equivalent resources estimated at 1.86 million tonnes.
First production is anticipated in 2025, targeting minimum annual nickel production of 65,000 tonnes during the estimated 30 plus years of the mine’s life.
At full capacity, Kabanga will also produce 4,000 tonnes per annum of cobalt, a metal produced as a by-product of nickel mining that is used in lithium-ion batteries and the manufacture of high-strength alloys.