Vedanta Resources eyes Exxaro's Namibian zinc mine

Vedanta Resources Plc (Vedanta), the London-based non-ferrous metals mining company with its principal operations in India, is looking at South African miner Exxaro Resources' stake in Rosh Pinah zinc-lead operations in Namibia for an undisclosed price, Namibian daily New Era reported yesterday.

The negotiations between Vedanta and Rosh Pinah are said to have reached a crucial point, as the acquisition would further strengthen Vedanta's position as the world's largest zinc and lead producer, the report said.

Pretoria-based Exxaro which manages Rosh Pinah mining operation owns 50.04 per cent stake in the venture with Namibian empowerment groupings holding the balance.

Rosh Pinah is an underground mine located in south-western Namibia employing approximately 615 people. The mine produced around 94,000 tonnes of zinc and 20,000 tonnes of lead concentrate in 2009. The estimated mineral resources at Rosh Pinah currently stand at around 8-million tonnes.

 Earlier in May, Vedanta acquired the portfolio of American Zinc, the zinc assets of global miner Anglo American Plc, - for approximately $1.34 million on an attributable, debt and cash-free basis. The assets bought include Skorpion Zinc in Namibia, Lisheen in Ireland and Black Mountain Mining in South Africa. (See: Vedanta buys Anglo American Zinc for $1.3 billion)

Exxaro is a diversified South African mining group, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) with its operations in South Africa, Namibia, Australia and China. Its primary interest is in coal, and mineral sands containing titanium dioxide feedstock and zircon, which account for approximately 88 per cent of the total mineral sales.