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(last updated 2 May 2013)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in Namibia: Extract Resources Limited, Kalahari Minerals Plc, Brandberg Energy (Namibia) (Proprietary) Ltd, North River Resources plc , West Africa Gold Exploration (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd, Forsys Metals Corp., Korea Resources Corporation , Westport Resources Namibia (Pty) Ltd., Dunefield Mining Company, Ancash Investments (Pty.) Ltd., Galahad Gold Plc , Paladin Resources Ltd, Rössing Uranium Ltd, Uramin Inc., Namura Mineral Resources (Proprietary) Limited , Xemplar Energy Corp. , Metals Australia Ltd , Bannerman Resources Limited, Marenica Energy Ltd , Cheetah Minerals Exploration, Corporate & Resource Consultants Pty Ltd , Etruscan Resources Namibia , Nam-China Minerals and Development, Namibia Mineral Mining Plants and Products, New Mining Company, Philco Twenty (Pty) Ltd, Reptile Investment Four, Jaco Floris Smith, Nova Energy Ltd., Pitchstone Exploration Ltd. , Manica Minerals Ltd., Erongo Energy Ltd , Atomredmetzoloto OJSC, VTB Capital Namibia , Renova , Petunia Investments Three (Pty) Ltd, Runex Uranium (Pty) Ltd, Reptile Uranium Namibia (Pty) Ltd, Nova Energy (Namibia) Pty Ltd, Mineral Commodities Ltd , Africa Uranium Ltd , "a yet-to-be-identified Indian company", Oklo Uranium Ltd , Urafields , Epangelo Mining (Pty) Ltd. , Namibia Rare Earths Inc. , Zhonghe Resources (Namibia) Development (Pty) Ltd., Green Mineral Resources, SWA Uranium Mines (Pty) Ltd., Nabirm Global LLC , Golden Deeps Ltd
This statement was a reaction to the following report which recommended legal and administrative measures to improve the protection of protected areas from mining:
> Download: Striking a better Balance: an investigation of mining practices in Namibia's protected areas , Legal Assistance Centre / Mills International Human Rights Clinic, Stanford Law School, 2009 (1.85M PDF - LAC)
On Thursday (May 20), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Namibian counterpart signed a memorandum on cooperation in exploration and development of Namibian uranium deposits. The document lays out opportunities for joint ventures in exploration, development and processing of uranium ore as well as uranium enrichment. The memorandum is effective for five years and may be automatically prolonged. Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko said Russia would invest some $1 billion in uranium deposits in Namibia. (RIA Novosti May 20, 2010)
The first meeting of the joint working group consisting of representatives of ARMZ Uranium Holding and Namibian state owned company Epangelo Mining (Pty) Ltd. was held in Moscow on December 17, 2010. A Memorandum establishing future dimensions for development of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Namibia in the area of uranium ore exploration, production and processing was signed in the course of the meeting. (Atomredmetzoloto Dec. 20, 2010)
Final Draft of Strategic Environmental Assessment for the central Namib Uranium Rush released for public comment: The second draft report was released online on Aug. 16, 2010.
Comments on the report are invited until September 9, 2010.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) calls for government policy to prevent Namibian uranium 'rush' from turning into uranium 'crush':
It's not hard to identify the positive spin-offs of a uranium 'rush' for Namibia's Uranium 'province' (Erongo), but there are also elements that could turn this positive outlook into a uranium 'crush', with serious social, economic and environmental implications.
One element is government's non consideration to re-invest uranium revenue back into the environment and communities effected by the rush. Another element is an unforeseen event that destabilises uranium prices and the global uranium market, resulting in mines 'turning off the lights and walking away'.
These were some of the points discussed at a recent public meeting in Swakopmund where the 'Uranium Rush' Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was presented. The SEA is being done by the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the final report is expected to be out soon. (Namibian May 11, 2010)
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), recently commissioned by the Ministry of Mines and Energy , will be carried out by the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) , looking at all impacts of uranium mining.
It differs significantly in its scope from the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) usually carried out for environmentally sensitive projects.
While an EIS focuses only on environmental impacts, a SEA also looks at socio-economic impacts, policy issues and infrastructural concerns.
The project is partly funded by German donors together with the Ministry, ensuring that it is independent of the uranium industry.
Public participation plays a key role in the study and starting from today public meetings will be held during which people can raise their concerns about the industry. (Namibian Mar. 9, 2009)
NamWater plans to commission the construction of the desalination plant in 2010.
The national water utility would kick off consultation meetings with a public consultation in Swakopmund on February 5, 2009.
A uranium boom in the Erongo Region has given rise to the demand for fresh water, forcing NamWater to go back to its shelved plan to construct a desalination plant. Estimates are that the uranium mines in Erongo, some of which would come on stream in 2010, would consume about 53 million cubic metres per annum, a demand that exceeds the water utility's annual national supply of 67 million cubic metres. NamWater's desalination plant would produce 25 million cubic metres of potable water per year. The shortfall would come from the joint desalination plant with one of the uranium mining companies, Uramin. (New Era Jan. 26, 2009)
Namwater's ambitious plan to build a seawater desalination plant for N$1.48 billion just north of Swakopmund will be reviewed and a specially appointed National Desalination Task Force (NDTF) will now look into the matter.
According to Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa, the task force would look into three options for the desalination plant: a joint venture between Government and the private sector, by Government alone or by a private company without Government participation.
The seven-member NDTF is chaired by Andrew Ndishishi, Permanent Secretary at the Agriculture Ministry, with officials from the same ministry, the Environment and Tourism Ministry and NamWater serving on it.
Asked yesterday when the plant would be built, Mutorwa said it could be in 2010, but could be shifted, "depending on circumstances". International spot prices for uranium have dropped severely over the past weeks and hover around US$48 per pound, after soaring to over US$100 a year ago. This has cast doubt on whether all the envisaged uranium mines in Namibia would see the light. (Namibian Nov. 14, 2008)
The Namibian government has set up a joint ministerial task force to prepare a detailed project proposal for a government funded water desalination plant in the Erongo region, as it kickstarts the first phase of its bulk water supply programme.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said on Aug. 21, 2008, that the task force comprised of officials from the finance ministry, ministry of justice, national planning commission (NPC) and Namwater and had been mandated to come up with a viable plan on setting up of the desalination plant to cater for domestic as well as industrial water supply in the dry Erongo region.
Initial estimates of the costs of the desalination plant are around R1 billion, said ministry officials. Andrew Ndishishi, permanent secretary in the ministry of agriculture and water, said that government would have to come up with a funding mechanism to speed up the implementation of the project, which converts the salty, ocean water to fresh water.
The government-funded desalination plant is the second being planned in Namibia after uranium firm, UraMin, announced the start of the construction of a plant to supply water to uranium mines. The government said its plant would produce 90 million cubic metres of desalinated sea water, double the size of the UraMin plant. "The plant would be large enough to supply the whole of the coastal region, the mines in the desert and it's our answer to future water supply problems," Ndishishi said. (Pana Aug. 21, 2008)
Namibia Water Corp. , the state-owned water utility, plans to build a second desalination plant to cater for increasing demand for water from existing and planned uranium mines.
The facility will be built on Namibia's Atlantic coastline at a cost of 1.5 billion Namibian dollars ($192.1 million), Chief Executive Officer Vaino Shivute told reporters. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2010 and will have the capacity to pump 25 million cubic meters of water a year. NamWater is already building a desalination plant jointly with Uramin, which is expected to be commissioned at the end of 2009. The facility will have the capacity to pump 20 million cubic meters a year and serve Uramin's Trekkopje project. (Bloomberg, April 3, 2008)
> Download: Not coming up dry: Regulating the use of Namibia's scarce water resources by mining operations (565k PDF - LAC)
"The power plant will contribute to Namibia's ability to generate electricity from its own sources, thus reducing its dependence on external suppliers. It will make a significant contribution to reducing the predicted shortfall of 350MW in supply from 2014. This will benefit existing economic activities and may enable the country to take advantage of economic development opportunities related to any upsurge in the global resources market, particularly uranium."Comment on the EIA's findings are invited before 3 September 2012.
NamPower considering construction of coal power plant near Arandis: NamPower is "seriously considering" the construction of medium-scale coal-fired power plant with a capacity of 150 - 300 MW in the Erongo region. It is now being planned near the mining town of Arandis. The plant shall be operational from 2015/2016. In case of further need, it can be extended to 800 MW. (Allgemeine Zeitung Nov. 10, 2011)
Comments invited on Background Information Document for coal power plant planned for supply of uranium mines:
Four possible sites have been identified for the planned coal fired power plant: two at Arandis, one near Swakopmund, and one near Walvis Bay.
Comments on the Background Information Document can be submitted until October 19, 2011.
(Allgemeine Zeitung Sep. 29, 2011)
> Access Erongo Coal Fired Power Station EIA Downloads (Nampower)
Namibia looking for site for 800 MW coal plant: Namibia Power Corp., the state-run utility, is looking for a new site for a proposed 800 megawatt coal-fired plant after Walvis Bay rejected plans to build it near the city. (Bloomberg July 1, 2011)
800 MW coal power plant planned to supply Namibian uranium mines: Namibia's national power utility is planning an 800 MW coal-fired power plant to supply a growing demand for electricity from uranium mines, reports said on June 18, 2008. A report from a consultant Ninham Shand Consulting Services, hired by the power utility to carry out a feasibility study for the envisaged power plant, said the coal-fired 800 MW plant would supply power to the booming uranium sector. "The west coast of Namibia is experiencing significant economic growth in the Erongo region, mainly as a result of industrial developments related to uranium exploration and mining," Ninham Shandi, a South Africa-based consultant firm, said. The plant will have a coal stock yard, ash-disposal facility and transport system, to deliver coal and potentially seawater to and from the plant. An 800 megawatt facility would consume as much as 2.4 million metric tonnes of coal annually, the report said. Namibia is Africa's top uranium producer, followed by Niger and South Africa in third place. A biting power shortage has, however, raised fears that some mining projects could be put on hold. (Panapress June 19, 2008)
Namibian Cabinet approves lease for proposed industrial park for production of uranium industry chemicals:
Cabinet on Tuesday (Aug. 14) in principle approved the controversial Gecko Namibia's Vision Industrial Park (VIP) for Mile 16, north of Swakopmund.
Cabinet approved a 99-year lease of 700 hectares of land at Mile 16 to Gecko.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism will be directed to study and advise on the environmental impact of the proposed project and the development of a new "private port" to serve the commercial activities of VIP.
Environmental Commissioner Theo Nghitila told The Namibian yesterday that his office was waiting for the comprehensive environmental impact assessment.
VIP will include three chemical factories (sulphuric acid, soda ash and phosphoric acid). The acid plant is expected to produce up to 1.2 million tonnes of acid a year by processing about 400,000 tonnes of sulphur, which will be imported via a proposed port for bulk commodities with a jetty stretching approximately 1.5 km and a breakwater. A 'salt factory' for the plants is expected to be erected at Cape Cross.
Gecko also intends to run a 50MW power plant to power the park, while a desalination plant may also be needed.
The heavy industrial concept does not sit well with everyone. Fears are that VIP's possible chemical pollution could create a 'dead zone' for miles around the beaches. (The Namibian Aug. 17, 2012)
Conservationists demand selection of less environmentally sensitive site for production plants for uranium industry chemicals: The Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society demands the selection of a site with less environmental impacts than the one near Swakopmund preferred by Gecko for its proposed chemical production plants. There were several other brownfields sites available that would allow to protect the biological diversity near Swakopmund. (Allgemeine Zeitung Sep. 1, 2011)
Comparative Marine Environmental Risk Assessment reports released for production plants for uranium industry chemicals planned at Namibian coast:
On Aug. 18, 2011, Gecko Namibia released the Comparative Marine Environmental Risk Assessment reports for the proposed chemical production plants ("Vision Industrial Park"):
> Download EIA Reports (Gecko Namibia)
Comments can be submitted until September 9, 2011. (Allgemeine Zeitung Sep. 6, 2011)
Production plants for uranium industry chemicals planned at Namibian coast will have serious environmental impacts and extinct certain species:
According to an environmental expert, Gecko's project of production plants for reagents for the uranium mining industry will have serious environmental impacts, if constructed at the proposed coastal site. The environmental expert wants to remain anonymous out of fear of threats (!).
One problem are the acid fogs generated by the plants, fogs which are much worse than acid rain. Moreover, if the plants are built at Mile 6, the sensitive lichens in the area will die out. Many other plant species, beetles, and reptiles will perish, and an arachnid species only found there will be extinct. Also of serious concern are the numerous production wastes that are to be dumped in the sea: Gecko admits that nothing will survive within a radius of 2 km. This is particular serious between Mile 7 and Mile 11, where certain species of shark and turtle occur. (Allgemeine Zeitung July 28, 2011)
South African-based Gecko company is to invest $1.8 billion to build three chemical acid plants and a harbour in Namibia to serve the uranium mining industry, the firm said Thursday (Apr. 28).
"The three proposed chemical acid plants for sulphuric acid, soda ash and phosphoric acid will cover 4,000 hectares in the central coastal area near Swakopmund," 350 kilometres west of the capital Windhoek, said Philip Ellis, Gecko's managing director for Namibia.
"Total costs of the Gecko initiatives will be approximately 12 billion Namibian dollars ($1.8 billion, 1.2 billion euros)," Ellis added.
The proposed acid plant is to produce up to 1.2 million tons of acid a year by using approximately 400,000 tons of sulphur, which will be imported via the proposed new bulk terminal port.
"We also plan to develop a port to import and export bulk commodities with a jetty stretching approximately 2,500 metres, as the nearby Walvis Bay port would become congested when handling the volumes," Ellis told reporters. (Business Report Apr. 28, 2011)
The Gecko Group of Companies is planning the construction of two chemical plants north of Swakopmund for the production of chemical reagents required by the uranium mining industry in the Erongo region. According to a first feasibility study, the investment is estimated at approx. Euro 525 million. (Allgemeine Zeitung Apr. 15, 2010)
Concern over mining impact on Gobabeb Research Centre:
The future of the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre is threatened by the discovery and possible mining of uranium close to the site of the world famous centre.
Environmentalists say construction of a mine in the area will mean the loss of the invaluable treasure of environmental and geological knowledge.
The deposit is about five kilometres from the research centre, and about one kilometre from the Topnaar village of Sout Rivier. Uranium was discovered in the area about three years ago.
The former executive director of the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre, Dr John Henschel, is seriously concerned about the impact mining would have on a very valuable facility such as the Gobabeb.
The general manager of Reptile Uranium Reptile Uranium Namibia (a subsidiary of Deep Yellow, based in Australia), Klaus Frielingsdorf, who has an exclusive prospecting licence for the Gobabeb area, said the 'Aussinanis' deposit was a low-grade deposit, close to the ground, which covered an extensive area - which included the area of the Gobabeb Research Centre. (The Namibian Mar. 9, 2012)
Draft Environmental Scoping Report lodged for Tumas uranium open pit mine project:
Public participation meetings will be held June 11, 2013 (Windhoek) and June 13, 2013 (Swakopmund).
> Download Scoping Report for the Tumas Project, Apr. 22, 2013: Deep Yellow · Softchem
Draft Environmental Scoping Report lodged for Ongolo uranium mine project:
Public participation meetings will be held June 11, 2013 (Windhoek) and June 13, 2013 (Swakopmund).
> Download Scoping Report for the Ongolo Project, Apr. 9, 2013: Deep Yellow · Softchem
Heap leaching rather than conventional milling under consideration for Omahola uranium mine project: On Apr. 4, 2013, Deep Yellow Limited announced the completion of initial metallurgical testwork that has demonstrated the potential for a heap leach operation at its Omahola Project. According to Deep Yellow, heap leach processing has the potential to reduce cut-off grade, with a corresponding increase in overall uranium extraction whilst reducing project capital and accelerating the likely development schedule.
Environmental Clearance issued for INCA area of Omahola uranium mine project and for Tubas Red Sand uranium mine project: On Feb. 28, 2012, Deep Yellow Limited announced that its wholly owned Namibian operating subsidiary, Reptile Uranium Namibia Ltd (RUN) has received Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) for the INCA and TRS Mining Licence Application areas.
Comment invited on EIAs for INCA and Tubas Red Sand areas of Omahola uranium mine project:
Deep Yellow's Namibian operating entity, Reptile Uranium Namibia Ltd has submitted Environmental Impact Assessment Reports for two components of its Omahola uranium mine project to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The EIA's are for the INCA and Tubas Red Sand deposit areas and include draft Environmental Management Plans.
The EIA for the INCA deposit incorporates an environmental assessment for an open pit mine producing uranium and iron bearing ore of up to 2.5 million tonnes per annum which could result in the production of up to 2.5 million lbs U3O8 [962 t U] per annum.
The EIA for the Tubas Red Sand deposit includes an environmental assessment for a shallow, free dig open pit mine producing uranium ore which will be upgraded by physical benefication to produce a hich grade uranium rich concentrate paste amenable to acid or alkali leaching.
Comments must be submitted no later than November 28, 2011.
> Download INCA EIA report, Oct. 2011: Deep Yellow · SoftChem (alternate source)
> Download Tubas Red Sand EIA report, Oct. 2011: Deep Yellow · SoftChem (alternate source)
Positive interim Pre-Feasibility Study results announced for Omahola uranium project:
On Jan. 10, 2011, Deep Yellow Limited announced that it has received positive interim Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) results for its wholly-owned Omahola uranium project in Namibia, which includes the INCA and Tubas Red Sand uranium deposits.
The project comprises open-cut mining at the INCA deposit (80% of plant feed) and simplified surface mining and beneficiation at Tubas Red Sand (TRS) deposit (20% of feed), and a conventional processing plant with crushing, grinding, sulphuric acid leach and solvent extraction followed by uranium precipitation, drying and packaging of yellowcake.
Pump testing of aquifers close to the proposed mine site has confirmed the availability of significant amounts of groundwater (albeit saline) at INCA and in the nearby palaeochannel system. Aquifer recharge tests and Government licensing will determine how much (if not all) of the total water supply required for the Omahola Project can be sourced from this natural, local water supply. Consequently, provisions have been included in the initial project design and costing for an on-site desalination plant. The company is also pursuing an alternative option of securing desalinated sea water to be supplied by Namibia's water services provider NamWater.
The timeline for completion of the PFS has been extended to the 2nd Quarter 2011 to evaluate the inclusion of material from the recently discovered Ongolo Alaskite project as an additional source of ore for the Omahola Project.
> Calculate Mine Feasibility
Scoping Report released for Omahola uranium mine project:
> Download Scoping Report for the Omahola Project, Oct. 2010
Marenica secures key Chinese funding to progress further Feasibility Studies of its Namibian uranium project: On Nov. 1, 2010, Marenica Energy advised that it has secured $5 million of debt and equity funding through the support of China's Hanlong Energy Limited to progress its Marenica Uranium Project in Namibia. (Marenica Energy Ltd Nov. 1, 2010)
A scoping study finds the Marenica Project in Namibia could deliver 3.5 million pounds of uranium [1,346 t U] per annum at the highly competitive operating cost of US $38 a pound. The study focused on the development of a heap leach operation that has an estimated capital cost of US $260 million.
Undertaken by SRK Consulting, the study found the Marenica Project could produce a total of 45 million pounds of uranium [17,308 t U] over a 13-year life based on the existing defined indicated and inferred mineral resource.
The average mined ore grade of 0.0107% U3O8 [0.00907% U] will be improved by 80% to 0.0193% U3O8 [0.0164% U] via an ore sorting process that rejects half of the mined material as waste. (Marenica Energy Ltd Oct. 5, 2010)
Preliminary results from the Scoping Study at the Marenica Uranium Project have identified the opportunity to develop the project as a economic large-scale, bulk-tonnage heap leach operation. (Marenica Energy Ltd June 17, 2010)
Construction of huge Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine in Namib Naukluft National Park begins, while comment period for EIS amendment still open:
On April 18, 2013, Mining Minister Isak Katali and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) General Manager He Yu performed the groundbreaking for the Husab uranium mine. First uranium production is expected in 2015, and annual production shall reach 15 million lbs U3O8 (5,769 t U) from 2017.
(Allgemeine Zeitung / New Era Apr. 19, 2013)
[Construction started, although the amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment is still open for public comment (see below). Apparently, construction will be limited to those parts that were already approved in the initial license and are not affected by the changed tailings disposal scheme?]
Last-minute change at Husab uranium mine project: switch from dry to wet tailings disposal, increasing mine footprint by 400 hectares - revised EIA open for public comment:
The start of construction of the Husab mine has been delayed due to last-minute changes in mine and mill design: the ore is to be milled to a finer size, to allow for better uranium recovery. This change, however, makes the proposed dry tailings disposal scheme on top of the waste rock dump unsuitable, which is therefore changed to the usual wet disposal scheme in a designated tailings disposal area. In addition, the size of the open pit mines is to be increased, due to newly found extensions of the uranium deposit. These measures require an additional area of 400 hectares, extending the mine footprint from 1900 to 2300 hectares, and increasing the impact of the project on wildlife further.
A revised Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been made available for public comment. (Allgemeine Zeitung Mar. 27, 2013)
> Download: Executive Summary - Environmental impact assessment report amendment for the proposed changes to Husab mine , March 2013 (2.2MB PDF - The Chamber of Mines Uranium Institute)
Full hard copies of the report are available for review at the following public places: National Library of Namibia (Windhoek); Swakopmund public library; Walvis Bay public library; and Arandis public library. Electronic copies of the report will be made available on request (on a CD). Two public open days will be held in Swakopmund (April 9, 2013) and in Windhoek (April 10, 2013).
Submit comments by April 24, 2013 to SLR Consulting Namibia (Pty) Ltd via fax (+264 64 403 327) and/or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Husab uranium mine to operate independently of Rössing uranium mine: After considering to join forces with the well-established Rössing uranium mine in terms of production, the owners of Husab mine, which holds one of the world's richest uranium deposits, this week confirmed that the mine will go completely solo and will operate independently. (New Era Feb. 6, 2013)
Husab uranium mine to be operating by end-2015:
One of the world's biggest uranium mines will begin operating in Namibia by the end of 2015, its owner, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC), said on Tuesday (Nov. 6).
"We plan to start construction on the Husab mine around the end of this year and complete construction in three years," Deng Ping, executive deputy director of CGNPC Uranium Resources told a mining conference in the Chinese city of Tianjin.
(Reuters Nov. 6, 2012)
Swakop Uranium's N$12-billion Husab mine near Swakopmund has started, following the signing in Beijing of the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the project. The contract was awarded by Swakop Uranium (Pty) Limited to the Husab Project Joint Venture, comprising the international engineering and project management company AMEC, and Tenova Bateman (Sub-Saharan Africa). (Namibian Nov. 22, 2012)
Construction start imminent for Husab uranium mine project - in spite of planned change of tailings disposal scheme; environmental concerns raised:
Environmental organization Earthlife Namibia has raised concerns over the new tailings disposal scheme proposed for the Husab uranium mine project, as the disposal site is located near a groundwater resource and a Welwitschia habitat, moreover, the finer tailings material might produce more dust that might reach the coastal settlements.
According to the preparer of the EIA, SLR Consulting , the new tailings disposal scheme includes a four square kilometer lined tailings storage facility for the wet uranium mill tailings.
Construction of the mine is to start in July 2012 (!), production start is foreseen for end 2015, at the earliest. According to Grant Marais of Swakop Uranium, the project would be profitable even with a further decline of the uranium price. (Allgemeine Zeitung May 8, 2012)
The construction of the Husab Uranium mine east of Swakopmund at a total price of N$1.6 billion, is set to commence within the next week. (Informante Oct. 10, 2012)
Husab uranium mine switches to wet tailings disposal scheme: Swakop Uranium plans to modify the Environmental Impact Assessment to account for a planned change in the milling process: the ore is to be milled finer to obtain a better uranium recovery, but the finer tailings can no longer be managed by dry disposal; therefore, a new tailings disposal scheme has to be elobarated. (Allgemeine Zeitung Apr. 26, 2012)
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp. new owner of Husab uranium mine project: view here
Mining license for Husab (ex Rössing South) uranium mine project issued: On Dec. 1, 2011, Extract Resources Ltd announced that the Ministry of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia has now issued the Mining Licence (ML171) for the Husab Uranium Project.
Mining license for Husab (ex Rössing South) uranium mine project imminent: On Nov. 30, 2011, Extract Resources Ltd announced that the Ministry of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia has provided to Swakop Uranium, a wholly owned subsidiary of Extract, a notice of preparedness to grant a Mining Licence for the Husab Uranium Project. Swakop Uranium has accepted the terms and conditions contained within the notice of preparedness.
Husab uranium project receives environmental approval for linear infrastructure: On July 25, 2011, Extract Resources Ltd announced that its subsidiary, Swakop Uranium, has received environmental approval from Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism for the linear infrastructure to service its proposed Husab Uranium Project near Swakopmund, Namibia. The linear infrastructure entails access roads, electricity, telecommunications and water supply. This is the second and last environmental approval needed for the Husab Uranium Project and is in addition to the environmental approval that the Company received in January 2011.
Husab (ex Rössing South) project established as the 4th largest uranium deposit in the world: On June 7, 2011, Extract Resources Ltd announced a 33% increase in the total global resource of the Husab deposit to 188,000 t U.
Definitive feasibility study demonstrates viability of Husab (ex Rössing South) uranium mine project:
On Apr. 5, 2011, Extract Resources Ltd announced that the definitive feasibility study demonstrated the technical and economic viability of the Husab (ex Rössing South) uranium mine project.
> Calculate Husab (ex Rössing South) Mine Feasibility
China Guangdong Nuclear's uranium subsidy makes "possible offer" for Kalahari Minerals, co-owner of Husab (formerly Rössing South) mine project:
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp has proposed a 756-million-pound (US$1.23 billion) offer for Kalahari Minerals.
Kalahari owns 43 percent of Australia's Extract Resources Ltd, which is developing the Husab uranium project in Namibia that Extract bills as the world's fifth-largest uranium-only deposit.
CGNPC-URC, a wholly-owned unit of China Guangdong Nuclear, made a "possible offer" of 290 pence a share, which represents a 11 percent premium to Kalahari's closing price last Friday, the London-listed company said on Monday (Mar. 7).
But the deal could face challenges from Rio Tinto, which has stakes in both Kalahari and Extract. Rio has long been seen as a suitor for Extract as Rio's Rossing uranium mine is near the Husab project. Last month, Extract said it was discussing a potential combination of Husab and Rio's Rossing mine. (Shanghai Daily, March 9, 2011)
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. has walked away from a US$1.24 billion deal for Kalahari Minerals PLC . CGNPC withdrew its offer for Kalahari after the U.K. Takeover Panel ruled it couldn't cut the bid price despite global uncertainty over the immediate future for atomic energy. (Dow Jones May 10, 2011)
Talks on potential combination of Husab project with Rössing mine: On Feb. 21, 2011, Extract Resources Limited announced that it is currently holding discussions with Rio Tinto around a potential combination of the Husab Uranium Project with the neighbouring Rössing Uranium Mine, with a view to capturing the significant potential synergies that could be generated from a joint development of the two projects.
Husab uranium project receives environmental approval within record-breaking two months:
On January 28, 2011, Extract Resources Limited announced that its subsidiary, Swakop Uranium, has received environmental approval from Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism for its Husab Uranium Project's mining licence area. A separate EIA is in progress for the linear infrastructure for which public consultation is scheduled in April and May.
The Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") and Management Plan ("EMP") for the proposed mining licence area were lodged with the Ministry in late November 2010. Approval of the EIA and EMP is a necessary step for obtaining a mining licence. The mining licence application was lodged with Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy during December 2010.
Miscalculation in EIA report underestimates radon doses by a factor of one million (!) for Husab uranium mine project (formerly Rössing South): This is only the most striking fault contained in the assessment of the radiological impacts performed in the Environmental Impact Assessment report for the Husab uranium mine project:
Public comment invited on Environmental Impact Assessment report for huge dual open pit Husab (formerly Rössing South) uranium mine project:
Australian uranium explorer Extract Resources' Namibian subsidiary Swakop Uranium plans to start building a new mine in 2012 with production expected two years later, a report showed on Wednesday (Oct. 27).
The company said in an environmental impact assessment report presented for scrutiny to the government that it planned to mine for uranium up until around 2028.
It said the Husab mine project would have a throughput of 15 million tonnes per annum to produce 8,000 tonnes of uranium yellow cake with 70 percent contained uranium.
The cost of developing the reserve are estimated to be over $700 million, Swakop Uranium said.
"The final feasibility study will be completed before the end of this year. It will include many variables and recommendations," the company's spokesman Tom Ferreira said, adding that shareholders will decide on what route to take.
The mine is expected to be the second largest uranium operation in the world and it will create economic benefits for the country, but also have significant negative social and environmental impact, the report showed.
(Reuters Oct. 27, 2010)
At its annual meeting on Nov. 4, 2010, the company said the definitive feasibility study on its Husab uranium project had been pushed back from the fourth quarter this year to the first quarter next year. (The Australian Nov. 5, 2010)
The mine will comprise a conventional load and haul open pit mining operation, processing plant, mine residue disposal facilities, and support infrastructure and services. The project footprint is approximately 1900 hectares [19 square kilometres].
Zone 1 pit: 2.5 km long, 1.0 km wide and 400 m deep.
Zone 2 pit: 1.9 km long, 1.4 km wide and 390 m deep.
The open pits and mineralised waste facilities will remain at closure; the open pits will not be backfilled.
The full EIA report is available for inspection at several locations in Namibia. "Interested and affected parties" can obtain it on CD from Metago Environmental Engineers (Pty) Ltd . It is not available on the Internet. Comments will be accepted until November 22, 2010.
Extract Resources is aiming to start production at Rössing South, which would be the world's second-largest uranium mine, in 2014, CEO Jonathan Leslie reported on Thursday (Sep. 2). The definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Namibian project was likely to be delivered before the end of this year, with construction at the Rössing South project starting on the back-end of 2013. The mine had the potential to deliver up to 15-million pounds of uranium [5,769 t U] a year, Leslie told delegates at the African Downunder conference in Perth. The project currently had an estimated indicated resource of 122.2-million tons at the zone-one deposit, with a further 118.8-million tons at the zone two deposit. The project would cost an estimated $704-million to develop, and would have a life-of-mine of 20-years. (Mining Weekly Sep. 2, 2010)
Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has applied to develop Namibia's Rössing South uranium deposit, according to briefing materials issued by the Russian government on Thursday (May 20).
(RIA Novosti May 20, 2010)
Senior uranium industry sources believe that Rosatom is seeking to exploit apparent frustrations within parts of the Namibian government at Extract's slow pace in bringing the project through to production. It is not known what rights the Namibian state would have to either appropriate the mine or transfer the mining rights to another company on the basis that Extract was not properly exploiting the deposit for the nation's benefit. But it appears to some industry watchers that Rosatom is encouraging that outcome. (The Australian June 7, 2010)
A consortium of Korean companies led by Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) is preparing to bid for a stake in Extract Resources' Rössing South, with the potential to become the second biggest uranium mine in the world within the next five years, the Dow Jones Newswires reported yesterday (Feb. 4). The agency based the report on "two people familiar with the matter". State-run utility Kepco, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co, and Korea Resources Corp are looking to take a stake of around 15 per cent in Rössing South, "one of the persons said". (Namibian Feb. 5, 2010)
Extract Resources unit Swakop Uranium expects uranium oxide output at its Rössing South mine to start in the fourth quarter of 2013, with a ramp-up to 15 million pounds (U3O8) [= 5,769 t U] a year seen by 2015, its chief executive said on Friday (Jan. 29). The life of mine will be in excess of 20 years. (Reuters Jan. 29, 2010)
On Aug. 3, 2009, Extract Resources released preliminary cost estimates for the Rössing South mine project, showing that the project can support a viable open pit mining operation.
> Calculate Husab (ex Rössing South) Mine Feasibility
On April 3, 2009, Extract Resources announced that the Rössing South Feasibility Study has commenced with GRD Minproc the leading consulting group. The Study will be completed in two parts commencing with a Pre-feasibility Study, followed by a Definitive Feasibility Study.
On Dec. 6, 2007, Extract Resources Ltd. announced that through a Memorandum of Understanding, NamWater has undertaken to develop a desalination capacity that will supply at least 4 million cubic meters of desalinated water per annum to the Ida Dome Mine by March 2011.
On Oct. 19, 2007, Extract Resources Ltd. announced the receipt of a positive preliminary scoping study for the Ida Dome prospect within its Husab property, although to date there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource (!).
> Calculate Ida Dome Mine Feasibility
> View extra page
EIA for Zhonghe uranium mine project finally made available - two years after completion and four months after license issued:
On April 3, 2013, the Chamber of Mines Uranium Institute finally made the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Zhonghe uranium mine project available on its website - two years after the completion of the EIA, and four months after the license for the project was issued.
> Download: Final Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the Proposed Uranium Mining Project in the EPL No. 3602, Arandis Area, Erongo Region, Namibia , April 2011 (25.5MB PDF - The Chamber of Mines Uranium Institute)
Public involvement insufficient at Zhonghe uranium mine project, group complains:
Marcia Stanton of The Earth Organization Namibia criticizes the public involvement in the licensing process for the Zhonghe uranium mine project as inadequate: the public became only aware of the project, after the license was issued in November 2012, which clearly indicates that the public involvement did not take place according to the EIA regulation (Section 21).
The project is to mine the 'Anomaly No. 18' deposit (ore grade: 230 ppm U3O8 = 0.023% U3O8, or 0.0195% U) in an open pit and to extract the uranium from the ore in a heap leaching process. Planned annual production is 700 - 1000 t U3O8, and the total investment is estimated at US$ 600 - 700 million. The operation requires 2 million cubic metres of desalinated water per year and a power supply of 20 - 30 MW. (Allgemeine Zeitung March 25, 2013)
Namibia issues uranium mining license to Zhonghe Resources uranium mine project: On Nov. 30, 2012, the Ministry of Mines and Energy issued a uranium mining license to Zhonghe Resources (Namibia) Development (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of China Uranium Corporation.
The Baseline (Scoping) Report, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, and the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) Report for the proposed new uranium mine were prepared by Risk-Based Solutions (RBS), the Consulting Arm of Foresight Group Namibia (FGN) (PTY) LTD.
Chinese uranium explorer leaves hundreds of bags with mineral samples in riverbed of Khan River:
A Chinese mineral exploration company, Zhonghe Resources, has admitted that it is the owner of the hundreds of bags of mineral samples found lying in the Kahn River recently.
(The Namibian Jan. 13, 2010)
The Namibian Chamber of Mines is investigating the origin of the hundreds of bags filled with mineral samples left in the Khan River, which The Namibian reported on last week. Gert Heussen of Wlotzkasbaken last weekend came upon about 400 unmarked canvas and plastic bags filled with gravel and mineral core samples lying in the riverbed, abandoned and most of them torn open. It is not known how long the samples have been lying there or who they belong to, although it is believed that the prospector was looking for uranium. (The Namibian Jan. 12, 2010)
On March 18, 2007, the first shipment consisting of 4,202 kgs of uranium ore concentrate U3O8 in 18 drums left the port of Walvis Bay, bound for the Honeywell/Converdyn uranium conversion facility in Metropolis, Illinois. (ML071370379 )
On March 16, 2007, the Langer Heinrich uranium mine was officially opened.
On Dec. 28, 2006, Paladin announced that the Langer Heinrich uranium mine has produced its first yellow cake during commissioning.
On Nov. 23, 2006, Paladin announced a 9% increase in the uranium resources at Langer Heinrich and the grant of an exploration license for the area located west of the current project.
On Jan. 19, 2006, Paladin announced it has secured its first sales contract for a portion of its yellowcake production from the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mining Operation, scheduled for commissioning in September 2006. The sales contract with a major US utility is for the purchase of 2,145,000 lbs U3O8 (829 t U) for delivery between 2007 and 2012 and is subject to finalisation of all necessary legal documentation.
Paladin's share placement sucessfully raised AUD$ 77 million (US$ 58 million).
This capital raising in addition to the project loan facility of
US$ 71 million will provide Paladin with all the necessary funding to complete
development of its Langer Heinrich Uranium Mining Operation, the Kayelekera
Bankable Feasibility Study and also ensure sufficient general working capital
is available to advance other project opportunities.
The development activities at Langer Heinrich remain on schedule. The civil and earthworks contracts have now been awarded and the construction camp to accommodate 560 workers is nearing completion. (Paladin Oct. 21, 2005)
Members of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) protested at the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine held on September 15, 2005.
The Namibia Branch of the environmental organization Earthlife Africa criticized the environmental and health hazards of the project. According to a report prepared by German Öko-Institut on behalf of Earthlife, Paladin's Environmental Assessment underestimates the radiation doses fourfold. Moreover, the proposed tailings management concept would have serious flaws.(Allgemeine Zeitung Sep. 16, 2005)
> Download: Evaluation of selected aspects of the environmental assessment report for the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mining Project in Namibia , Öko-Institut, Darmstadt, September 29, 2005 (340k PDF)
On July 31, 2005 (after obtaining the mining licence), Paladin Resources Ltd published the final Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine environmental assessment report on its website.
> Download Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine environmental assessment report , April 2005
The Namibian Minister of Mines has approved the granting of a 25-year Mining Licence to Langer Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd, wholly owned by Paladin Resources Ltd, allowing full scale development of the Langer Heinrich mining operation to proceed. (Paladin July 27, 2005)
The uranium royalty related to the Langer Heinrich deposit was acquired by Redport Ltd. on June 28, 2005.
On April 20, 2005, Namibian environmental organisation Earthlife appealed to government, politicians and all Namibian political parties to stop mining operations at Langer Heinrich. The organisation's chairperson, Bertchen Kohrs, said in a press release that mining uranium in the park not only poses health hazards but also environmental concerns such as water contamination - one of the serious issues that have not been addressed properly. (New Era April 21, 2005)
In October 2004, Paladin held public meetings at Windhoek (Oct. 20), Swakopmund (Oct. 21) und Walvis Bay (Oct. 22) to present its Langer Heinrich uranium mine project.
> Download Minutes of the Langer Heinrich public participation meetings (October 2004) (Softchem)
During the meetings, the need for a second uranium mine in Namibia was questioned.
The issue of the availability of water for the mine was also raised. While the draft environmental assessment states that the mine's water need could not be calculated yet, Paladin declared it at the meetings as one million cubic metres per year. According to Paladin, water supplier NamWater had confirmed that there was sufficient water available in the groundwater supplies of Kuiseb and Omdel deltas. However, several people said that the current annual supply of 7 million cubic meters to the coastal areas was already facing a severe strain, and the mine would increase the consumption by 15%.
The fact that the mine borders the Namib Naukluft Park and travel to and from the mine to the coast would be via the existing C28 gravel road that runs right through the park, gave rise to many questions from the residents. According to Paladin, the tenement containing a 12 km stretch of ore body had been excised from the park earlier years when exploration first started in the 1970s. However, the Desert Research Foundation , whose well-known executive director Dr Mary Seely attended the Windhoek meeting, disputed that the land holding the uranium deposit had been cut off from the rest of the park or that it had been deproclaimed.
The South African company Softchem is preparing the final environmental assessment for the project until March 2005. A bankable feasibility study for the project is underway and if all goes well the mine would be constructed from the second quarter of 2005.
(Namibian/Allgemeine Zeitung Oct. 25, 2004, The Namibia Economist Oct. 22, 2004)
The draft environmental assessment is currently available for inspection at the libraries of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The public is invited to comment. Feedback must be received by November 17, 2004.
> Download Paladin release Oct. 28, 2004 (PDF)
Paladin has completed the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Langer Heinrich Uranium Project "the results of which justify taking the project to final feasibility determination. Current analysis indicates the project is robust at US$14.00lb/U3O8 and able to support a 10 year mine life producing 1,000tpa uranium oxide at a low operating cost." (Paladin 19 Feb. 2003)
In August, 2002, Paladin Resources Ltd acquired 100% of Langer Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd, the Namibian company holding the Project rights.
A pre-feasibility study at Acclaim Uranium's Langer Heinrich deposit is underway, targeting a production start in March 2002. (The Australian, Nov. 1, 1999)
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