Tanzanian government has given a three day ultimatum to Tembo Nickel to compile a comprehensive company’s work plan.
Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko directed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), for Tembo Chris Showalter for the work to see current development of the nickel mining project, following signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between Tembo Nickel and the government earlier this year.
Mr Biteko said the government was ready to issue a Special Mining Licence to Tembo Nickel. However, the ministry was waiting for a comprehensive company’s work plan.
“The government is ready to issue a Special Mining Licence (SML) to Tembo Nickel. I have directed the Tembo Nickel Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to submit the work plan within three days,” he said.
Nickel mining project
The nickel mining project was estimated to cost about 1.3billion US dollars (about 3tri/-) and is the largest mining project being implemented in the country. Tembo Nickel Country Manager, Mr Benedict Busunzu, on the other hand, informed the minister that the project will offer employment opportunities to between 800-1,900 Tanzanians, adding that preliminary activities, including identifying people for compensation had already started.
Tembo Nickel Board Chairman, Prof Idriss Kikula explained that local content would be considered during the implementation of the project, while Tanzanian-owned companies would get first priority.
Ngara Legislator, Mr Ndayisaba Luholo appealed to the residents to grab the opportunity by doubling production of cash and food crops which would be in high demand when the project is in full swing.
He, however, cautioned people to ensure that they properly follow health directives on how to avoid contracting Covid-19, including wearing of face masks, social distancing and washing hands frequently using running water.
The signing of the long awaited Kabanga Nickel mining agreement between LZ Nickel Limited and the Tanzanian government on January 19th, this year, was witnessed by the late President John Magufuli, who assured investors that Tanzania is politically stable and invited them to exploit the abundant resources available in the country.
Nickel is a key electric car battery material, and Kabanga in Tanzania’s northwest is the world’s largest development ready, high-grade nickel sulfide deposit, according to Kabanga Nickel.
It is estimated to contain more than 1.52 million tonnes of nickel. Kabanga Nickel said Tembo would produce Class 1 nickel and cobalt products, and LME Grade A copper cathode. The mine is estimated to contain more than 100,000 tonnes of cobalt – also used in batteries.