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Tunis, 2 May 2007- The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday in Tunis, approved US$ 150 million to partially finance the Ambatovy Nickel Project in Madagascar.
The Project involves the development of an open pit mine, an ore slurry preparation plant at the mine site, a 220 km pipeline to move the ore slurry to the coast, a pressure acid leach processing plant, a metals refinery, and all the necessary infrastructure, including water, power and steam generation, acid production, tailings disposal, and port facilities.
The project will produce approximately 60,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) of London Metal exchange (LME) deliverable nickel, 5,300 TPA of cobalt, and 186,000 TPA of fertilizer-grade ammonium sulphate.
The Project will bring short, medium and long-term economic and social benefits to Madagascar’s economy. The project will provide foreign direct investment, to Madagascar and will help the country to diversify its agriculture-based economy. The project contributes considerably to priority areas (infrastructure growth, mining royalty improvement, increase in foreign direct investment, poverty reduction, and fiscal revenue increase) of the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP-2007-2012), a strategic development plan, adopted by the Government in 2006.
The project will generate about 3,800 jobs (2,000 during construction and 1,800 during operations). The project will create opportunities for local enterprises, including SMEs providing goods, works and services.
The Ambatovy Nicket project is the first mining project financed by the Bank in Madagascar under the Private Sector window. Under the private sector window, the Bank has financed four projects in the extractive industrial sector. These projects include: Moma titanium (Mozambique), Sasol gas and pipeline (in Mozambique and South Africa), Samira gold (Niger) and Lumwana copper (Zambia).