History & Milestones

  • 1929:

    Exploration was initiated with the first shaft sunk on Swartberg (“Black Mountain”). Exploration and evaluation continued sporadically and in a desultory fashion until 1970 when Phelps Dodge Corporation initiated a diamond-drilling programme.

  • 1971:

    The Swartberg orebody is intersected.

  • 1972:

    The most-promising orebody at Noeniespoort se Kop (“Broken Hill’) is intersected.

  • 1973:

    The Aggeneys Mountain (“Big Syncline”) orebody is intersected.

  • 1974:

    An audit is conducted to procure bulk samples for metallurgical testing.

  • 1976:

    Phelps Dodge commissions a feasibility study for an underground mine.

  • 1977:

    Zinc Oxide Ore body discovery

  • October 1977:

    Having decided to seek a partner for the venture, Phelps Dodge agrees with Gold Fields of South Africa Limited (GFSA) and its associates to subscribe for a 51% interest in the Black Mountain Mineral Development Company (Proprietary) Limited.

  • Late ’90s:

    GFSA decides to sell its base metal assets, including Black Mountain. After conducting a due-diligence study, Anglo American Corporation purchases Black Mountain and the nearby, as yet undeveloped, Gamsberg zinc deposit. Low-key exploration, aimed mainly at finding extensions to the Broken Hill orebody, is not very encouraging but the geologists are optimistic. With the change in ownership almost certainly signalling an end to the drilling programme, the chief geologist requests funds for one final hole to test an area further from those that had already been drilled. This is a turning point in the history of Black Mountain Mining as high-grade mineralisation is intersected at a depth of just over 1 000m. Funds are made available immediately for an expanded drilling programme.

  • 1998 - 2000:

    Pilot R&D on Refinery process for zinc-oxides

  • September 2000:

    Anglo Board approval for Skorpion Zinc Project

  • January 2001:

    1st Earthworks dug on site, Construction begins

  • September 2001:

    Mining operations start

  • October 2002:

    Start of Refinery plant commissioning

  • May 2003:

    1st Special High Grade Zinc Production run

  • July 2003:

    1st Shipment of Special High Grade Zinc

  • September 2003:

    Official Opening by State President (H. E. President Sam Nujoma)

  • December 2006:

    Refinery Design Capacity Reached

  • July 2007:

    Anglo Chairman Safety Award

  • August 2007:

    Namibia Chamber of Mines Safety Award

  • December 2008/9:

    Nameplate Production Reached

  • 10 May 2010:

    Anglo American announces the sale of its global zinc portfolio to the Vedanta group.

  • 5 February 2011:

    The US$364 million sale of the Black Mountain Mining (BMM) zinc interests is completed. Since acquisition, the life of the existing BMM operations has been extended by another 2,5 years. We have also delivered on the commitment to develop the Gamsberg project.

  • September 2014:

    The Gamsberg feasibility study is completed.

  • November 2014:

    Phase 1 of the Gamsberg Project is approved.

  • 27 July 2015:

    BMM marks the ground-breaking ceremony at the Gamsberg project site. Pre-start activities continue. To date, we have excavated over 6Mt of over-burden waste.

  • October 2016:

    Engineering, procurement and construction services (EPC) contract awarded to ELB Engineering Services Proprietary Limited (Engineering Services). The capital cost for Phase 1 of Gamsberg – comprising the open pit, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure – is US$400 million. First production is expected in mid-2018.