Vedanta, a major zinc producer, is making a fresh $200m investment in its Namibian operations, as it plots a strategy to make the plant a regional hub for refining the metal, says Vedanta Zinc International CE Deshnee Naidoo.

Diversified miner Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) plans to spend around $4m over the next three years digitalising its greenfield Gamsberg zinc project making it likely the first local mining project in which such software will be introduced at a development stage.

Diversified miner Vedanta Resources' Zinc International (VZI) has announced a greenfield digitalisation initiative, which will see a ‘Smart Ore Movement’ system built into its flagship Gamsberg zinc project.

As the only female CEO in the Vedanta Group and one of a handful of female CEOs in the South African mining industry, Vedanta Zinc International’s (VZI) CEO Deshnee Naidoo places a high value on the empowerment of women in mining.

In its interim results for the six months ended 30 September, London-listed Vedanta Resources says that its Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa – being undertaken by Vedanta Zinc International – is on track to commence production in mid-2018.

Amid low levels of capital project activities in South Africa, the $400-million Gamsberg zinc and lead project, in the Northern Cape, has become the largest mining project under execution in the country.

Deshnee Naidoo, CEO of Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), is passionate about environmental responsibility and sustainability – and believes it should form part of the foundation of any mining business. The highly successful closure and rehabilitation programme at Lisheen mine in Ireland clearly demonstrates this. Now, the company’s large-scale Gamsberg zinc project in the Northern Cape is being developed on the same responsibility premise and can already be acknowledged for the work it is implementing to protect the environment, writes Laura Cornish.

The prestripping of waste rock at the Gamsberg zinc mine project in the Northern Cape is close to the halfway mark, Vedanta Resources reported on Tuesday, when its interim CEO Kuldip Kaura described as “strong” the quarterly production performances of the London-listed, India-rooted mining company’s zinc, Copper India and aluminium businesses.

Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo, meanwhile, added that the implementation of leadership values, such as listening, for example, had to be demonstrated.

The local mining industry has made significant strides in executing trans- formation and promoting gender diversity in terms of women representation, with the number of women having increased from an “extreme minority” to exceeding 10% across different levels.