Skorpion Zinc (Skorpion), located in the //Karas Region of southern Namibia, comprises of an open-pit mine and a refinery. Established by Anglo American Corporation, Skorpion came into production in 2003, and was acquired by Vedanta Resources in 2010.
Currently, Skorpion produces 1.5 Mtpa of oxide ore, has a nameplate capacity of 150 000 tpa of refined zinc. While the remaining reserve and resource of 5MT is expected to be exhausted by FY2020, Skorpion’s ore body is open at depth and an extensive drilling programme is under way with a view to deepening the pit to access more mineable ore.
Skorpion provides employment to approximately 1 500 people – to 800 directly, and to a further 700 contractors. Of the total complement, 96% are Namibians.
Looking ahead, it is envisaged that exploitation of synergies between Skorpion and the new Gamsberg mine currently under development by Vedanta zinc International in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province will result in a southern African integrated zinc complex of global standing. Re-engineering of the Skorpion Refinery will mean that at least some of Gamsberg’s sulphide zinc in concentrate form could be trucked across the border for refining.
In addition to Skorpion, Vedanta has various exploration joint ventures under way in Namibia.