Zambia may soon exploit nickel deposit.

Author:Bromby, Robin
 
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Zambia may soon be able to add nickel to its list of major mineral exports, following the formation of a join venture to develop a deposit that had been abandoned 17 years ago because of the then low price of the metal.

The project has been revived by the Zambian-based construction and engineering group Apollo Enterprises Ltd, which learned of the existence of the deposit in 1988. It acquired a prospecting licence in that same year.

Apollo Enterprises commissioned a prefeasibility report from a US-based mining consultant based in California, which concluded that the nickel deposit could be profitably mined using conventional underground ming.

The success of the Apollo Enterprises venture will bring further diversity to Zambia's mineral export base, adding nickel to its already-substantial overseas export sales of copper, zinc, cobalt and other metals.

Apollo has now brought in an Australian mining company, the Perth-based Claim Minerals NL, which is to bring with it US$1.5m to earn a 60% interest in the nickel project by paying for a full feasibility study.

The Munali nickel-sulphide deposit is located 65 kilometres southwest of Lusaka, and the project site is close to road and rail arteries, power supplies and water supplies.

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