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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: August 21st 2002


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:: South African Tin Revival

Phamine of South Africa has started preparatory operations for a new tin smelter and tin concentrator plant in Limpopo Province in the north of the country. Lucas Mkhwanazi, chief executive of Phamine, said that the new division, called Phamtin, and the new facilities are part of a revival of the South African tin mining industry.

The tin concentrator is located near the town of Doornhoek, and the smelter is near Leeuwpoort. The operations, which have a combined capital cost of R27 million, will reclaim and retreat existing dumps at dormant tin mines, using advanced tin-extraction technology reported to have been developed originally by the Anglo American group. The dumps are expected to yield over 3 Mt of tin over 15 years. Phamtin expects to be able to supply 80% of South Africa's tin requirements, with the major end-user being the steel producer Iscor Ltd.

Significant tin production in South Africa ceased with the closure of the Rooiberg mine, located between Warmbaths and Thabazimbi, in October 1993, and its associated smelter in January 1994. Rooiberg was part of the Gold Fields of South Africa group.




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