Nyanza Light Metals (“Nyanza”) has announced that Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC”), the leading infrastructure solutions provider on the African continent, has become a co-developer and early stage investor in its 80,000tpa titanium dioxide pigment (TiO2) plant in South Africa. South Africa is the world’s second largest producer of titanium ores but imports almost all its value-added titanium products. This transformational project will be the first of its kind in South Africa and the African continent producing titanium dioxide pigment for international and South African manufacturers of products including, paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals and building materials.
AFC is making an initial US$3 million investment which will go towards the completion of the project development activities that will take the US$550 million project to financial close in H1 2023. In addition to its role as a co-developer, AFC is also a co-Mandated Lead Arranger alongside African Export- Import Bank (“Afreximbank”) whom have co-funded the project. Given its high socio-economic impact, the project has received strong support from the Government of South Africa through its Department of Trade Industry and Competition (“DTIC”) which, since 2020, has co-funded the feasibility studies with the sponsors, Arkein Capital Partners (“Arkein”) and DBF Capital Partners (“DBF”). Athari Capital Partners also acted as the lead transaction advisor to Nyanza Light Metals.
Nyanza’s Chief Executive Officer, Donovan Chimhandamba said, “We are delighted to have AFC come aboard our flagship project, a milestone that supports our commitment to developing an impactful mineral beneficiation and diversified chemicals manufacturing plants on the African Continent. This investment sets up Nyanza as Africa’s Largest titanium value addition industrial complex. Nyanza’s pioneering journey into mineral beneficiation is a trail blazing initiative that will hopefully be a model for value addition in minerals processing across the continent.”
AFC’s Senior Director and Head of Project Development and Technical Solutions, Mr Amadou Wadda said, “AFC is proud to be part of this landmark deal for South Africa and Africa as it is closely aligned with our investment strategy which focuses on the in-country value-accretive beneficiation of Africa’s natural resources. South Africa being one of the world’s largest producers of titanium ore makes this project a key example of moving Africa higher up the value-added manufacturing supply chain whilst creating local jobs and driving economic development on the continent.”
In March 2022, Nyanza completed the construction of the first phase of the project which is located in Richard’s Bay Industrial Development Zone in KwaZulu Natal Province. This culminated in the commissioning of the Product Testing and Development Center (“PTDC”) with a capacity of 700tpa of titanium dioxide pigment. The PTDC’s TiO2 production will be offered to paint and pigment market players to test and co-develop different paint formulations based on Nyanza’s pigment quality while 80,000tpa main plant is being constructed.
“Financial close for the US$550m main pigment plant is expected to be achieved in the first half of 2023 with production from the main plant to ramp up from early 2025. Nyanza’s current focus is on appointing the right EPC contractor to construct the main plant.” Chimhandamba added.