Dodoma — Kabanga Nickel will only continue with mineral exploration and mining activities only if the nickel price goes up, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, told Parliament yesterday.
Dr Kalemani said that Kabanga Nickel conduct mineral exploration project under the licence number RL.0001/2009. He said the company has been conducting exploration for some years now to determine if the project could be implemented profitably.
However, Dr Kalemani said the government has given a one-year ultimatum to the company to start operations or lose the project to another investor. "The investor has been given one year to finish exploration and start operations, failure to do so, the government will provide the project to another investor," he said.
He said the company has been slow to continue with the job due to the fall of the nickel price in the world market from 11 US dollars per 'pound' in 2010 to an average of four US dollars per pound in 2014.
He said following that situation, the company will continue with mining activities after the increase of the nickel price. "Until April, this year, the nickel price was 4.5 US dollars compared to 11 US dollars, which was calculated during the feasibility study," he said.
According to Dr Kalemani, upon the completion, the Kabanga Nickel Company is expected to offer 1,455 jobs during the construction period and 800 during production.
Dr Kalemani was responding to a query from a Special Seats MP (CCM) Ms Oliver Semuguruka who wanted to know when Kabanga Nickel Company will begin its operations in Ngara District.