ZAMANCO minerals Limited an Australian firm is to invest about US$60 million (about K300 billion) dollars in its mining operations in Zambia, where it is developing a manganese project in Central Province.
Company managing director Jacques Bandenhorst said his firm would push in a lot of investment funds in its operations starting from the exploration stage through to the construction of a manganese smelter in Serenje District..
Mr Bandenhorst said the firm had centred its business on developing a ferro manganese smelter and that the smelter would be established on a 150 hectare piece of land.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during a breakfast meeting, Mr Bandenhorst said the smelter was expected to produce 56,250 tonnes of medium carbon ferro manganese and 9, 600 tonnes of silicon manganese annually.
"ZAMANCO will be a key supplier of ferro alloys, making use of significant high grade ore bodies in Zambia, the company will ensure that the extracted ore is processed to the highest quality before being transported to the smelter site," he said.
A detailed study conducted by the company supports a focus of downstream processing due to quality feedstock and attracts margins that favours local beneficiation of ore through smelting.
Mr Bandenhorst said the mining company would in the next six months complete its current exploration programme for manganese and the bankable feasibility study for the smelter, whose construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of next year.
He said the available manganese resources allow at least a year life span of the smelter in Serenje District.
However, Mr Bandenhorst said his firm places emphasis on the processing of the ore to high value alloy products in countries where such ores are mined.
He said processing of the ore would ensure that Zambia as a country obtained maximum benefits through the long term sustainable use of its ore resources.
Other benefits outlined were long term job creation and increased revenue from higher value products.
Mr Bandenhorst said access to mineral tenements was obtained by entering into joint venture agreements with local mineral licence holders, and that his firm was determined to enter into such ventures.