Most of South Africa’s nickel and cobalt were produced as by product of platinum mining activities on the Bushveld Igneous Complex. South Africa produced 36 600t nickel in 2000, with Anglo Platinum producing over 19 000t. Cobalt production in South Africa is produced as a by product of PGM operations as well as a co product of a single nickel operation. Production in 2000 totaled 397 t.
South Africa’s only primary nickel mine, Nkomati is a joint venture between Anglo American (25%) and Avmin (75%). The Nkomati mine produces nickel and cobalt, with copper and platinum group metals as by-products. The Nkomati mine is located in Mpumalanga and exploits the Uitkomst Layered Complex, which contains several low grade, high tonnage lenses of sulphide ore containing nickel – copper – cobalt as well as PGE’s. Nkomati produced 4 100 t nickel in 2000 and has resources estimated at 2.5 Mt grading at 2% nickel, 1.13% copper and 0.09% cobalt, suitable for mining for a further five years. A feasibility study to extend the life of mine is being evaluated by partners Anglo American, with a decision on the expansion to be made in early 2002. The expansion includes the development of an open pit operation that will increase production to 17 500t of refined nickel and 80 000 PGM’s per year.
The Insizwa nickel deposit, located near Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape Province has been the focus of several years of investigation by numerous companies. To date results have been erratic and have not justified further work. Falconbridge (55%) and Implats (45%) have been the most recent companies to evaluate Insizwa.
Anglo American plc
Anglo has a 25% interest in the Nkomati nickel mine in Mpumalanga.
Anglovaal Mining Ltd
Avmin currently have a 75% interest in the Nkomati nickel mine, South Africa’s only primary producer of nickel.
Mining Indaba 2004 is Africa’s most important mining event and the world’s leading gathering of global policy makers and international finance. It is being hosted by International Investment Conferences Inc. in Cape Town, South Africa, 10-12.Feb.2004.
Euromoney Plc is organising the fourth Coaltrans South Africa conference, which will focus on key issues in the South African coal market today. 1st – 2nd March 2004.