Tag Archives: Buzwagi gold mine

Lifezone Metals edges closer to base metal refinement plan at Kabanga nickel project

Lifezone Metals Limited says it has received a Multi-Metal Processing Facility Licence from the Government of Tanzania to refine nickel, copper and cobalt from its Kabanga nickel project at Kahama, located beside Barrick Gold’s former Buzwagi gold mine.

The Kabanga nickel project is in northwest Tanzania and is believed to be one of the world’s largest and highest-grade undeveloped nickel sulphide deposits, Lifezone says. The Kahama Multi-Metal Processing Facility site is around 340 km southwest of Kabanga. Lifezone’s subsidiary, Tembo Nickel Corporation Ltd is the operating entity for Kabanga and Kahama, and is 16% owned by the Government of Tanzania.

Notably, through the application of Lifezone’s Hydromet Technology, Kabanga and Kahama will be able to produce finished metals in-country, potentially reducing capital and operating costs, as well as reducing costs associated with transport of concentrate or other intermediate products. Full in-country beneficiation will contribute towards local content optimisation and eventually national development through the principle of equitable sharing of economic benefits, Lifezone says.

A definitive feasibility study for Kabanga remains on track for completion by the September quarter of 2024.

This licence news came alongside a separate announcement involving the signing of a binding subscription agreement for the issuance of $50 million of convertible debentures with a consortium of marquee mining investors. These are on top of BHP, Glencore and BlackRock as investors in the business. The proceeds are going towards development of Kabanga.

Lifezone Metals’ Hydromet Technology is a transformational method of metals recovery that has the potential to replace smelting for base and precious metals refining, according to the company. Pyrometallurgical smelting is one of the largest contributors to pollutive gas emissions, greenhouse gases and energy inefficiency in the production of metals products and the use of Hydromet Technology will help to unlock nickel, copper and cobalt from Kabanga, providing lower cost, lower emissions (relative to smelting) and traceable metals for electric vehicle batteries and to support the global energy transition, it says.

Chris Showalter, Lifezone CEO, said: “The ongoing level of commitment and support that we have received from the Government of Tanzania in the advancement of our Kabanga nickel project is exemplary. With the receipt of our Kabanga Special Mining Licence, and now the Kahama Refinery Licence, we have a clear path to delivering a direct-to-metal solution and enabling the production of nickel, copper and cobalt in Tanzania and by Tanzanians.”

The issuance of the Kahama Refinery License follows the formal gazettement of the Special Economic Zone (Declaration) Notice, 2024, which declared the Buzwagi Mining Area, within Kahama District in Shinyanga Region, a Special Economic Zone. The Kahama Refinery will be located within the Special Economic Zone, which will provide certain tax and other economic benefits for the project, according to Lifezone.

In addition, the Kahama Refinery stands to benefit from access to a highly trained workforce and legacy infrastructure from the Buzwagi gold mine, including existing camp and office buildings, regional power connections, airstrip, road connections and railway in near proximity, the company says.

This “plug-and-play” industrial hub brings significant project execution and capital cost benefits, as well as turning a past-producing mine liability into a long-term asset. Lifezone will not be taking on any legacy liabilities in relation to the closure of the Buzwagi gold mine, it added.