Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP has invested $50m in Tanzania’s Kabanga Nickel, with a further $50m investment agreed subject to conditions, as demand for the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries grows.
The investment marks a re-entry into Africa’s mining sector after BHP unbundled Perth-based metals miner South32 in 2015 which operates mines in South Africa and Australia. Kabanga’s deposit contains in-situ nickel equivalent resources estimated at 1.86 million tonnes.
First production is anticipated in 2025, targeting minimum annual nickel production of 65,000 tonnes during the estimated 30 plus years of the mine’s life. At full capacity, Kabanga will also produce 4,000 tonnes per annum of cobalt, a metal produced as a by-product of nickel mining that is used in lithium-ion batteries and the manufacture of high-strength alloys.