Zambia's largest nickel mine resumes operation

11:14, March 27, 2010      

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Zambia's largest nickel mine, Munali Nickel Mine, which is run by China's Jinchuan Corporation, resumed operation on Friday and is expected to reach an output of 750,000 tons nickel ore in 2010.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda attended a ceremony to mark the resumption at the mine, about 85 kilometers south from the Zambian capital city Lusaka.

Banda highly praised the efforts made by Jinchuan, the largest nickel producer in Asia, in taking over the ever closed mine, which led to unemployment of over 1,000 miners.

"I am pleased to know that the mine planned to increase the number of employees once the mine boosted its output," the president said.

The mine is planning to upgrade the mine from the current 750, 000 tons per annum of ore to 1.2 million tons of ore by 2011.

The Zambian leader commended Chinese investment in the country, saying that "the Chinese investors have dedication to develop Africa and we need to welcome them."

Australia's Albidon Ltd, former owner of the mine, halted operations of the southern African country's only nickel mine last March following a fall in metals prices. In June, Jinchuan Corporation, based in northwest China's Gansu Province, took over majority shareholding and invested over three million U.S. dollars in its resumption.

Ore production at Munali in the first two months of 2009 was 74, 000 tons, below the forecast 87,000 tons, mainly due to a lack of equipment

Yang Zhiqiang, president of Jinchuan Corporation, said that Jinchuan will experience a prosperous development in Africa via combination of advanced technology from the Chinese side with the rich resources of the Zambian mine, which was proved with reserves of 100,000 tons of nickel metal.

Source: Xinhua
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