Nkomati (South Africa)
Nkomati is a joint venture between Nornickel (50% interest) and African Rainbow Minerals. Nkomati’s performance is reflected in Nornickel’s financial results using proportional consolidation, based on our stake. The operations of the mine are planned to cease in 1H2021 whereafter the mine is to be placed on limited care and maintenance pending the finalisation and submission of a closure plan.
Nkomati is located in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, 300 km east of Johannesburg. It is South Africa’s only producer of nickel concentrate, which also contains copper, cobalt and PGMs. Nkomati produces chrome concentrate as well.
The Nkomati deposit has a substantial resource base represented by disseminated copper-nickel sulphide ores. The deposit consists of several ore bodies. The major ones are a solid sulphide ore body with a high nickel content and a peridotite chromite mineralisation zone with a relatively lower nickel content and a relatively higher chrome content.
In 2020, total ore mined by Nkomati reached 2.7 mln t (attributable to the Group’s 50% shareholding) with an average nickel content of 0.27% and copper content of 0.11%.
Concentration and smelting
The mined ore is processed at the concentrators using the sulphide flotation technology, with the resulting concentrates then sold by Nornickel to third parties.
In 2020, Nkomati (50% owned by the Group) produced 6 kt of nickel, 3 kt of copper, 30 koz of palladium and 13 koz of platinum. The metals output decline in the reporting period was due to the planned placement of the mine in care and maintenance and the completion of reserve mining.
|Copper (in concentrate), t||2018||2019||2020|
| NKOMATI (SOUTH AFRICA) as of 31 December ||Ore kt||Metal grade||Contained metal|
|Ni %||Cu %||Co %||4 PGM g/t||Ni kt||Cu kt||Co kt||4 elements koz|
|Proven and probable reserves||980||0.29||0.11||0.02||0.90||3||1||0.2||27|
|Measured and indicated resources||168,490||0.35||0.14||0.02||0.94||590||227||29||4,926|