THE Chief Executive Officer of Kabanga Nickel, Chris Showealter has praised the government for its efforts to create conducive investment and business climate that attracts more investors into the country.
He said the efforts have seen an influx of big companies that are now investing in the extractive industries, thus contributing highly to the economy of the country.
Mr Showealter was speaking on Thursday during his tour to the Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN), publishers of the 'Daily News, 'Sunday News', 'HabariLeo', 'HabariLeo Jumapili', 'SpotiLeo' and online platforms 'Daily News Digital'.
"The efforts are so encouraging, and for us, (Kabanga Nickel) we have been working closely with the government on ensuring all the plans are executed accordingly," he said.
Kabanga Nickel is a joint venture project where the government of Tanzania has a 16 per cent stake through local partnership entity, Tembo Nickel Corporation, Kabanga Nickel Ltd (UK) holds the balance. Kabanga is a developmentready, high-grade nickel sulphide deposit located in Ngara District in Kagera Region. It is estimated to have more than 1.52 million tonnes of nickel.
Nickel, traditionally used to make stainless steel, is also a key component in lithiumion batteries, allowing vehicle manufacturers to reduce the use of cobalt, which is more expensive and has a less transparent supply chain. So far, the company has set an initial capital of 1.3tr/-, among which 350bn/- is for construction of a refinery plant in Kahama Municipality, Shinyanga Region and the remaining is for Nickel plant in Ngara District, Kagera Region.
"The projects are expected to commence in 2025, targeting minimum annual nickel equivalent production of 65,000 tonnes square, with 30+ years life of mine and exploration upside potential," he said.
The project is also expected to create over 1,000 direct employment opportunities for locals, including 980 employees for the plant in Ngara District, and 200 others for a refinery plant in Kahama. For his part, the Country Manager for Tembo Nickel Company, Benedict Busunzu spoke of the economic effects of the project to the country.
Some of the benefits include stimulation of the economy as well as creation of direct and indirect jobs to the locals.
From the project which is scheduled to exist in a period of more than 33 years, the government is expected to be collecting over 700bn/- annually from taxes, duties, revenues and other collections, he noted.
Going forward, he said the company will continue complying with all requirements for the greater potentials of the sector and economic benefits for all parts.