Vedanta Resources to invest $1.6b in South Africa

In a move to deepen engagement in the African nation, the world’s leading diversified natural resources firm Vedanta Resources is planning to invest about $1.6 billion in South Africa for mining minerals.

Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal, who was part of a business delegation accompanying South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to India, said Vedanta Resources has already invested $400 million in South Africa and is outlining more investments to produce minerals like zinc.

“South Africa and India share a very strong relationship. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited South Africa last year, we announced an investment of $1 billion in South Africa. We are now increasing the committed investment to $1.6 billion,” Agarwal said.

The global natural resources player has already invested Rs 3,000 crore or $400 million in South Africa. Its cumulative investment in the African continent currently stands at nearly Rs 30,000 crore or $4 billion.

On the home front, Vedanta has so far invested Rs 2.34 lakh crore (US $33 billion) and has committed to invest another Rs 60,000 crore (US $8 billion) in the next three years. The company has generated 100,000 jobs so far in India and South Africa and is committed to generate significantly more jobs in the coming years.

“South Africa has global mining experts and India needs their knowledge. India has a technology culture, which I want to take to South Africa, where we are developing one the most digitally advanced mines in the world,” Agarwal said.

“Just as we are committed to being India’s premier natural resources company, Vedanta is committed to South Africa in equal measure. Looking forward, we must accelerate South Africa as a mining investment destination,” he said, adding that the partnership can be for mining of gold, copper, bauxite, zinc, and other minerals.

The company is currently undertaking feasibility study to build a greenfield, state-of-the-art smelter and refinery as part of Gamsberg project. If feasible, the construction of smelter cum refinery is likely to entail fresh investment of Rs. 6,000 crore (US $800 million), thus making the Khai-Ma region of Northern Cape an industrial powerhouse.

India is the world’s fastest growing large economy with a projected growth of 7.6 per cent in 2019 and is forecast to become the world’s third largest economy within 10 years, behind only China and the US. It overtook France last year and is poised to overtake the UK this year. Vedanta is confident that there is enormous potential for Indian and South African businesses to help meet demand – creating jobs and infrastructure in both countries.