Algerian zinc and lead mine to come online in 2026

24 February 2023

The project to exploit the zinc and lead deposit in the districts of Amizour and Tala-Hamza, in Algeria’s Bejaia region, will go into production in 2026.

This was confirmed by Meriem Touatila, the general manager of the Algerian-Australian joint venture, Western Mediterranean Zinc (WMZ), which holds the exploration permit.

The deposit is thought to be one of the largest zinc mineralisations in the Mediterranean region.

Speaking on 20 February, Touatila said that the company is planning to acquire land and establish a processing plant for the zinc and lead ores from the mine.

Rail transportation upgrade projects are also being undertaken to facilitate the transportation of materials from the mine.

The site is expected to produce 170,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate every year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Mines in March 2022.

The mine has faced opposition from local citizens' associations, which consider that the project represents a danger to the environment.

The project is estimated to be worth $580m and its scope includes:

  • Construction of processing units
  • Construction of storage facilities
  • Installation of safety systems
  • Construction of access routes
  • Construction of parking facilities

The discovery of zinc and lead reserves was first announced in 2007. Since then, numerous studies have been carried out and the project has been delayed several times for a variety of reasons.

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Wil Crisp
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