Taurian plans $150 mn manganese plant in Zambia

Taurian plans $150 mn manganese plant in Zambia

Lusaka: Taurian Manganese Ltd plans to invest $150 million to build a manganese processing plant in central Zambia, a senior company official said on Sunday.

Imran Merchant, a director at Taurian Manganese, said in an interview that construction of the plant, which would produce 720,000 tonnes of manganese per year at its peak in 2014, was expected to start by June in 2011.

“It will be the largest manganese processing plant in Africa with three furnaces that will have a combined peak capacity of 60,000 tonnes per month," Merchant said.

Production was expected to start in 2012 when the plant was projected to process 240,000 tonnes, which would be doubled the following year, before hitting the peak in 2014, he said.

Merchant said output would rise gradually mainly because Zambia’s state-owned power company Zesco Ltd would only be able to provide the plant with the full power requirement of 100 megawatts by 2014.

Taurian Manganese would employ about 700 workers at peak production, Merchant added.