By HELEN ZULU –
CONSOLIDATED Nickel Mines Limited (CNM), a wholly owned company of Mabiza Resources Limited, is looking for a possibility of processing nickel into metal at Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka in Southern Province.
CNM managing director Simon Purkiss said the company was investigating the possibility of producing nickel metal at site rather than concentrates that would be exported.
Mr Purkiss said in an interview in Lusaka that this improvement would make the mine financially robust in the wake of low nickel prices that mines were currently experiencing.
He said the mine was not operational at present but was ready to start when the nickel prices improve, adding that at the current nickel prices of US$9,000 per tonne, 70 per cent of the nickel operations were making a loss.
“We are investigating the possibility of producing nickel metal at the site rather than concentrates that will have to be exported.
“The mine is not operational at present but is ready to start when the nickel price improves, at the current nickel price of $9,000 per tonne, 70 per cent of the nickel operations are making losses,” he said.
Mr Purkiss said the company was also looking at value-addition plans for long-term nickel metal production.
He said the nickel metal feasibility study was due to be completed before the end of June 2016.
Mr Purkiss further said since the company took over Munali Nickel Mine from the Jinchuan Group of China, it had spent $15million on maintaining employees, improving the infrastructure and test work to improve performance of the process.