Lead-zinc potential is evaluated at 150 million tons of ore mainly situated in the North. Perspectives are oriented for developing Oued Amizour lead and zinc deposit (11% Zn and 3.2 % Pb with an average thickness of 49 m).
Algeria had an estimated production of 2,796 t in lead concentrate in 2003 compared to 8,576 t in 2002. Breakwater Resources (operator of the Bougrine mine located in Tunisia), was hoping to acquire the Oued Amizour project. However, negotiations stalled between Breakwater and the authorities, resulting in Breakwater withdrawing from agreement. Oued Amizour has an identified high grade resource estimated at 30 Mt grading 5.5% zinc and 1.4% lead. At the Chaabet el Hamra, lead-zinc deposit, there are some 5 Mt of reserves averaging 5% metal content.
The government has been seeking investors to take on the Ghazaouet zinc mine and processing plant in the far northwest of Algeria. The complex is 25 years old, and its original 40,000 t/y capacity has been reduced in recent years to 31,000 t/y as a result of poor maintenance and the unavailability of spare parts.
Bou Khrada, Djebel Onk, Oued Amizour, Quenza, Tirek