After receiving a special mining license from the government over the weekend, Tembo Nickel Corporation Ltd has promised to expedite the implementation of the nickel mining project.
Chris Slowalter, the corporation’s CEO, gave the assurance shortly after receiving the special mining license, stating that full production would begin in two years and six months.
“The issuance of Kabanga Special Mining License (SML) is a sign of confidence which the government has in the project; we acknowledge its support and that of the shareholders as we move the project forward. And, with the SML in hand, the project can now accelerate and scale-up,” he said
He said several preparatory activities have been going on since they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January, this year, saying the handover of the license has given them a mandate for production take off.
Mr Slowalter said they will start putting up in place the needed infrastructures including roads as they will be running two major projects at the same time: production of the nickel and construction of the nickel refinery which will assure Tanzania’s minerals to be of high quality.
Kabanga Nickel Project will create a credit gate with miners operation using class man nickel, and copper battles in the country whereas with the application of hydrogen they will produce high quality of fine products in the country.
“With the collaboration with Tanzania Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (TEITI), we will be part of the government’s efforts towards the development of strategic nickel project which create shared value for our stakeholders” he insisted
The handing over of the special mining license was a landmark partnership to start shared objectives and trust that has been set up between the government and Kabanga Nickel co. Ltd to ensure economic benefits from Joint Venture Company of Tembo Nickel.
The government expects to collect an estimated 7.5 billion US dollars almost 17.2tr/- through various fees and taxes over the next 33 years from the Kabanga nickel mining project.
Speaking during the handing over of the license, Minister of Minerals, Dotto Biteko, said Tembo Nickel Corporation Limited (TNCL) expects to invest a total of 412 million US dollars according to a submitted feasibility study.
He said the feasibility study report showed total deposits of 58 million tonnes of nickel whereas the mining operations are expected to be conducted by underground mining method whereby production is expected to reach an average of 600,000 tonnes per annum in the first five years – and, later, increase to 2.2 million tonnes per annum.
Based on that production rate, the life of the mine is estimated to be 33 years. The concentrates produced from the mine will be transported to the refinery which is to be built in Kahama District.
Mr Biteko said the annual production and exports of all the nickel would be worth 854.1 million US dollars at current prices for the mineral.
According to Minister Biteko, the project is expected to provide jobs to 978 people as per the Mining Act (Cap 123) and the Mining (Local Content) Regulations, 2018.
He noted that the revenues will increase every five years.
Similarly, the presence of a nickel refinery in Kahama District will create more than 100 jobs.
The event was occasioned by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, who said Tanzania has reviewed its extractive laws to ensure that it benefits from the sector.