Australian firm invests $50mn in Kabanga nickel project

21Feb 2023
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Australian firm invests $50mn in Kabanga nickel project

AUSTRARIAN firm—Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) has invested US$50 million in Tembo Nickel's Kabanga Nickel project in Ngara.

This initial tranche of funding included 40 million US dollars for Kabanga Nickel and 10 million for Lifezone Limited. The Kabanga Project will be using Lifezone Limited's hydrometallurgy technology ("Hydromet" that replaces smelting) at the Multi Metals Processing Facility to be installed in Kahama.

This initial investment gave the giant miner an initial 8.9 percent stake in Kabanga.

 BHP's return to Africa after a long absence (2015) and through Tanzania was a clear signal to the world and mining community that Tanzania has not only much sought after mineral resources but that it has garnered investor confidence for a fair return and win - win agreements with government.

Towards the end of 2022 in mid-December, Lifezone Metals, Tembo Nickel's ultimate parent company that comprises of Kabanga Nickel Limited and Lifezone Limited announced its intention to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

This listing will give Lifezone Metals access to one of the world's largest sources of funds, adding more momentum to the further development of the Kabanga Nickel project. This proposed listing will not result in any change in control of Tembo Nickel.

Tembo Nickel a subsidiary of Lifezone Metals was formed in a framework agreement in January 2021 by Kabanga Nickel Limited and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The Government has a 16 percent shareholding.

Tembo Nickel will benefit from the metal expertise of Lifezone Metals using its Hydromet technology to refine the high purity nickel in a much more economic and environmentally friendly manner. It will also gain considerably from the financial and technical expertise of BHP.

"Tembo Nickel will definitely be a game changer in terms of skills transfer for the Tanzanian job market and introduction of a new refinery technology in Tanzania, which will also serve as a metal refining hub for the region," said Tembo Nickel Country Manager Benedict Busunzu.

Recent test results show Kabanga Nickel's concentrate is amenable to the Hydromet technology, further supporting the refining technology that will mean in-country beneficiation of metals.

BHP recently completed the investment of the additional US$50 million. This increases BHP's interest in Kabanga Nickel Limited to 17 percent. The second tranche will go towards further resource definition drilling and the definitive feasibility study.

"Our partnership with BHP provides additional funding and enhances our engineering expertise," Lifezone Metals CEO Chris Showalter has stated.

DRA Global Limited has been appointed lead for the definitive feasibility study-consulting engineer with Orewin as the lead mining consultant.

The Tembo Nickel valuation and asset survey is now 98% completed, paving way for the next steps in the process towards compensation and early works.

The Kabanga Nickel project is believed to be the largest and highest quality development-ready nickel sulphide deposit in the world and is expected to start production in 2026.

Production estimates are in the order of 65,000 tonnes a year over 30 years, of which 40,000 tonnes will be nickel and 25,000 tonnes copper and cobalt by products.

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