History & Milestones

  • 1929:

    Exploration was initiated with the drilling activities at Swartberg (Afrikaans for Black Mountain). Exploration and evaluation continued sporadically until 1970 when Phelps Dodge Corporation initiated a diamond-drilling programme.

  • 1971:

    The Swartberg orebody is intersected.

  • 1972:

    The most-promising orebody at Noeniespoort se Kop (Broken Hill) is intersected.

  • 1973:

    The Aggeneys Mountain (Big Syncline) orebody is intersected.

  • 1974:

    An investigation is conducted to procure bulk samples for metallurgical testing.

  • 1976:

    Phelps Dodge commissions a feasibility study for an underground mine.

  • 1977:

    Zinc-oxide orebody discovered.

  • October 1977:

    Having decided to seek a partner for the venture, Phelps Dodge agrees that Gold Fields of South Africa Limited and its associates subscribe for a 51% interest in the Black Mountain Mineral Development Company.

  • Late 1990s:

    Gold Fields of South Africa decides to sell its base metal assets, including Black Mountain. Anglo American Corporation purchases Black Mountain and the nearby, as yet undeveloped, Gamsberg zinc deposit. Low-key exploration, aimed mainly at finding extensions to the Broken Hill orebody, continues. With the change in ownership almost certainly signalling an end to the drilling programme, the chief geologist requests funds for one final hole to test an area remote from those that had already been drilled. This is a turning point in the history of Black Mountain Mining as high-grade mineralisation is intersected at a depth of just over 1,000m. Funds are made available immediately for an expanded drilling programme.

  • 1990:

    Lisheen mine: Zinc and lead orebody discovered by Chevron geologists in County Tipperary, Ireland.

  • 1997:

    Lisheen mine: Feasibility study completed and development of mine and concentrator started by Chevron and Ivernia West joint venture.

  • 1998 - 2000:

    Pilot R&D on refinery process for zinc-oxides

  • 1999:

    Lisheen mine: First ore brought to surface in September and forst zinc/lead concentrated shipped in December

  • September 2000:

    Anglo American Board approval for Skorpion Zinc Project

  • January 2001:

    1st earthworks dug on site, Construction begins at Skorpion Zinc

  • September 2001:

    Mining operations at Skorpion begin

  • October 2002:

    Commissioning of Skorpion refinery

  • September 2003:

    Official opening of Skorpion Zinc by State President of Nambia, H. E. President Sam Nujoma

  • 2003:

    First ore produced and mine officially opened.

  • 2006:

    Design capacity reached.

  • 10 May 2010:

    Vedanta acquires Skorpion Zinc from Anglo American as part of acquisition of all of Anglo’s zinc assets.

  • 5 February 2011:

    Vedanta’s US$364 million acquisition of the Black Mountain Mining (BMM) zinc interests is completed.

  • 2011:

    Vedanta acquires Lisheen from Anglo American as part of Vedanta’s acquisition of Anglo American’s global zinc interests.

  • September to November 2014:

    Gamsberg feasibility study completed and Phase 1 of project is approved.

  • 27 July 2015:

    BMM marks the ground-breaking ceremony at the Gamsberg project site.

  • 2015:

    Lisheen mine: Mining operations cease and environmental restoration begins.

  • October 2016:

    Engineering, procurement and construction services contract awarded to ELB Engineering Services Proprietary Limited.