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Vedanta could expedite African zinc expansion amid high prices

Vedanta Resources Plc could expedite the expansion of its African zinc operations to capitalize on the recent price rally, Reuters reported Feb. 20, citing the CEO of the group's Zinc International unit.

Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo expressed optimism over South Africa after Cyril Ramaphosa recently replaced Jacob Zuma as president, noting improving zinc market conditions as demand grows amid supply deficits for both zinc concentrate and metal.

According to the report, Vedanta is already looking to start production at the Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa by mid-year, aiming to achieve the project's full production capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum in about a year.

Naidoo said Gamsberg's second phase of development, which will raise production to approximately 400,000 tonnes per year, could be accelerated and a decision on the matter would be made "over the coming months."

Zinc International is also looking at possible joint ventures to develop licenses in Ireland and is investigating the feasibility of underground mining in Namibia when open pit operations at the Skorpion mine conclude around 2020.