BHP To Make A $50 Million Investment In Tanzania's Kabanga Nickel Mine

BHP To Make A $50 Million Investment In Tanzania’s Kabanga Nickel Mine

1/21/2022 8:36:00 PM

BHP To Make A $50 Million Investment In Tanzania’s Kabanga Nickel Mine

BHP is one of the companies heeding the call to accelerate the mining of nickel and extending its reach by making an initial $50 million investment in Kabanga Nickel (northwestern Tanzania) and Lifezone, with further investments to be agreed.

Kabanga Nickel says in a press statement:Kabanga is the largest development-ready nickel sulphide deposit in the world. Located in western Tanzania, it has contained in-situ nickel equivalent resources estimated at 1.86 million tonnes and an in-situ nickel equivalent grade of 3.44%.

Project timeline anticipates first production in 2025, targeting minimum annual nickel equivalent production of 65,000 tonnes, with 30+ years life of mine and exploration upside potential.US$40 million investment from BHP, a world leading resources company, to accelerate development of the Kabanga Nickel Project to produce Class 1 battery-grade nickel, cobalt and copper.

Read more: CleanTechnica »

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(northwestern Tanzania) and Lifezone, with further investments to be agreed. Kabanga Nickel says in a press statement: Kabanga is the largest development-ready nickel sulphide deposit in the world. Located in western Tanzania, it has contained in-situ nickel equivalent resources estimated at 1.86 million tonnes and an in-situ nickel equivalent grade of 3.44%. Project timeline anticipates first production in 2025, targeting minimum annual nickel equivalent production of 65,000 tonnes, with 30+ years life of mine and exploration upside potential. US$40 million investment from BHP, a world leading resources company, to accelerate development of the Kabanga Nickel Project to produce Class 1 battery-grade nickel, cobalt and copper. Further US$10 million investment from BHP to progress Lifezone’s low-carbon hydrometallurgical processing technology which is more cost-efficient than smelting and has a significantly lower environmental impact. Future investment tranches in Kabanga Nickel have been agreed subject to certain conditions, including a second tranche of US$50 million and the right for BHP to make further investment subject to achieving certain agreed milestones. Full beneficiation of battery grade metals without smelting will be achieved in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania has a 16% interest through local partnership entity, Tembo Nickel Corporation, Kabanga Nickel Ltd (UK) holds the balance. Kabanga Nickel Limited (“Kabanga Nickel”) is a UK registered private company. Chris Showalter, Kabanga Nickel CEO, said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with BHP. It highlights the world-class nature of the Kabanga deposit and its importance in helping meet the crucial decarbonisation challenge facing the world today. BHP is the ideal partner for Kabanga Nickel, bringing significant advantages and expertise that will enable us to move ahead with the project. BHP’s investment reflects the project’s strong ESG credentials and its role in improving environmental performance throughout the nickel value chain. In addition, BHP’s funding support of Lifezone’s hydromet technology – the future of sustainable metals processing – will drive progress towards a greener world. Through development of Kabanga and Lifezone hydromet, Tanzania will have a growing role in the supply of the battery metals needed to move to a global low carbon economy.” Tanzania is committed to become a significant producer of responsible and sustainable metals to supply the increasing global demand to facilitate the move to a low carbon economy. The Government of Tanzania is an important partner in the development of the integrated Kabanga project. In her address at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last November, President Samia Suluhu Hassan stressed the need for developed countries to help the African continent with the challenges of climate change. The partnership in Kabanga with the government and the backing of BHP is an example of how this can be achieved. The Honorable Doto Biteko, Minister of Minerals, said: “Tanzania has a vision to become an important hub for critical decarbonization minerals. I am pleased that Kabanga Nickel Limited recognizes this potential and has invested in our future. Thanks to the work of Kabanga Nickel, and our own natural resources, we now stand ready to help the world in the production and refining of the crucial metals that society needs, while creating skilled jobs and benefiting the economy of our country.” It is good to see such projects on the African continent. Several African states are blessed with a lot of these important resources. South Africa, for example, has most of the world’s known manganese. Mozambique and Zimbabwe have natural graphite resources. Lithium, copper, iron ore, and several other important resources are also available. Perhaps soon we will start to see investments into actual battery gigafactories on the continent as well. Morocco is looking to scale up its automobile manufacturing industry. The South African motor vehicle manufacturing industry is one of the key pillars of the South African economy. Several other African countries, such as Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria are also looking to ramp up their assembly and manufacturing plants to drive the industrialization agenda as well as unlock much needed employment opportunities. As the continent is home to a lot of these important battery materials and minerals, a lot of focus should be placed on how these nations can leapfrog into the EV age, and also how they can get maximum value from the battery manufacturing value chain rather than just shipping the semi-processed materials.