On July 6, 2023, Tanzania reached a significant milestone in its strategic positioning as a critical minerals supplier. This achievement came after the listing of Lifezone Metals on the New York Stock Exchange. Lifezone Metals is the company that operates the Kabanga Nickel project located in the northwestern region of Tanzania. The company was listed under the ticker symbols LZM and LZMW.
The Kabanga Nickel project, currently the company’s sole metals extraction operation, is recognized as one of the world’s largest and highest-grade nickel sulfide deposits. It is estimated that the deposit contains approximately 44 million tons, with an average in-situ nickel grade of 2.61%, along with 0.35% copper and 0.19% cobalt.
One of the notable features of the company is its proprietary metal refining technology called Hydromet Technology. This technology offers advantages such as low emissions, and affordable operating and capital costs, and is considered a more effective alternative to traditional metal smelting methods.
In Tanzania, Lifezone operates through its subsidiary Tembo Nickel Corporation. In 2021, Lifezone, through its subsidiary Kabanga Nickel Limited (KNL), entered into a framework agreement with the Government of Tanzania. As a result, Tembo Nickel Corporation Limited was formed, in which the Tanzanian government holds a 16% non-dilutable free-carried interest, while KNL holds an 84% interest.
Since 2021, Lifezone has successfully attracted USD 100 million from its strategic partner, BHP (UK) Billiton DDS Limited, which now owns 17 percent of Kabanga Nickel Limited (KNL). The company concluded drilling activities in 2022, and currently, resettlement and environmental studies are underway in the extraction area.
The project has continued to gain significant attention, for example during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Tanzania on March 30, 2023, VP Harris highlighted the ongoing efforts to establish the first-of-its-kind processing facility by the company.
“Work is currently underway to build the first-of-its-kind processing facility on the continent for minerals that go into the electric vehicle battery,” said VP Harris during a joint press with Tanzania President Samia Suluhu.
“This project is an important and pioneer model using innovative and low-emission technology and high labor standards, importantly raw minerals will soon be processed in Tanzania by Tanzanians.”
“This will deliver battery-grade nickel to the United States and global market as soon as 2026. So our administration is now working with partners to identify opportunities for critical minerals to be processed in this new facility,” added Harris.
Lifezone’s reception at the stock exchange has been positive, with the stock price rising by 32.8 percent on July 06, 2023. The stock opened at $10.32 per share and closed at $16.60 around 3:59 EDT (10:59 EAT).
The potential of Lifezone’s technology, its smooth interaction with the Tanzanian government, and progress in the extraction process are expected to maintain a positive trajectory for the company’s stock.
The listing of Lifezone is expected to attract more investors and encourage further exploration opportunities in Tanzania.