By 2021, SA could have a new R2.6bn zinc and copper mine rising out of the footprint left behind in the early 1990s by Anglovaal Mining, creating momentum for the Northern Cape to become a major zinc hub. While definitive numbers on capital expenditure and production levels are only due before June 2019, the indications are that Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed Orion Minerals has a robust project on its hands resurrecting the Prieska mine south of Upington in the Northern Cape, said COO Walter Shamu.

The 1km deep workings with 37km of tunnels is flooded and it will take up to two years to drain the mine, with Orion developing plans on how to dispose of the water, including evaporation. In that time, a new processing plant to generate powdered copper and zinc concentrate, new winders, buildings and refurbished shaft will be completed. There is also the opportunity to start an open-pit mine to extract 1-million tons of ore near the 68m-high  concrete headgear. By 1984, Anglovaal...

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