UK-based Kabanga Nickel, previously known as LZ Nickel, will start a joint venture (JV) named Tembo Nickel Corporation with Tanzania.
Tembo Nickel will be the world’s largest battery-grade nickel sulphide deposit situated in northwest Tanzania. Tembo Nickel will mine and refine class 1 nickel with copper and cobalt co-products. Kabanga Nickel will own 84pc stakes and Tanzania will hold the remaining 16pc. Government usually owns 16pc stake in the country’s mining projects.
The JV will have two subsidiaries — Tembo Nickel Mining Company for extraction of the metal, and Tembo Nickel Refining Company for mineral smelting. The funding for development of the mine is in place, said John Maguful, President of Tanzania.
The Kabanga project is an in situ mineral resource of 58mn mt at 2.62pc of Ni, exceeding 1.52mn mt of nickel. Nickel has become a key ingredient for the making of electric vehicles. The mine also has significant amounts of cobalt and copper with a 30-year mine life. It has 0.19mn mt of copper and 0.12mn mt of cobalt.
Fitch Solutions has projected that nickel mine production will expand 8.3pc in 2021 compared to 2020 levels because nickel prices have increased significantly and growth in electric vehicle production will support it.