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(last updated 13 Oct 2022)
(map adapted from 'Namibia 14 regions.svg' by Barada-nikto,
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 Critical Metals Inc. , Zhonghe Resources (Namibia) Development (Pty) Ltd., Green Mineral Resources, SWA Uranium Mines (Pty) Ltd., Nabirm Global LLC , Golden Deeps Ltd , Headspring Investments (Pty) Ltd., Mangrove (Pty) Ltd., Uraplant Mining (Pty) Ltd, Resource Five Hundred Namibia (Pty) Ltd, Logan Exploration & Investment CC, Ubique Minerals Ltd , Puranium Energy 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)
Environment consultant cuts ties with Russian-owned explorer of Wings in situ leach uranium mine project:
A consulting company has cut ties with a Russian state-owned entity exploring for uranium in the Omaheke region after complaining about a lack of information to determine whether mining activities would contaminate Namibia's underground water.
The company, Environmental Compliance Consultancy (ECC), was contracted by Uranium One to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment for the proposed uranium mining pilot project in the Leonardville area.
Residents have over the past months raised red flags about uranium activities, including concerns about the contamination of the Stampriet artesian basin which covers a large arid region stretching from central Namibia into Botswana and South Africa.
The environmental company tasked with investigating possible dangers to that aquifer has now decided to pull the plug.
"Irreconcilable differences arose between ECC and Headspring Investments [Uranium One], resulting in ECC to formally withdraw their professional environmental consulting services from the project and the proponent," the environment company says in a statement.
The consulting company allegedly found it difficult to obtain information from the Russian uranium company.
Sources say ECC requested information from the Russian firm, but they received insufficient answers. This, sources say, has frustrated the company as it would not be allowed to meet deadlines and produce science-based advice. The company feared it could mislead Namibians on the safety of the project, sources say. (The Namibian Oct. 13, 2022)
Environmentalist up in arms over proposed in situ leach uranium mining in Stampriet artesian basin:
Chris Brown, the chief executive officer of the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) , last week said in-situ leaching would inevitably result in leakage into the aquifer, which would then become contaminated with radioactive uranium.
"The entire Kalahari basin is dependent on groundwater -- towns, villages, farms, tourism establishments, irrigation, domestic stock and wildlife. The aquifer system is shared with Botswana and South Africa. Impacts would go far beyond the basin and threaten tourism generally, and export markets for beef and other products," he said.
Brown said the Russian-owned company used a Kazakhstan company to conduct a groundwater study, although they were expecting a local firm to do it.
"Needless to say, the work was hopeless. It was sent to an independent and reputable company in Cape Town, which had worked in Namibia and enjoyed the confidence of the government and the private sector. Their report, which the Russians have kept out of the public domain, found the Kazakhstan report to fall seriously short in many ways, not least that they provided virtually no data to support the results of their modelling," he said.
Brown said this is a major issue for the farmers and others in the Kalahari. (The Namibian Sep. 28, 2022)
Landless People's Movement against proposed in situ leach uranium mining in Stampriet artesian basin:
The Landless People's Movement leader, Bernadus Swartbooi, has said his party will do whatever it takes to block the planned uranium mine in the Aminuis constituency in the Omaheke region.
Swartbooi said they would go to great lengths to enlist the assistance of experts before approaching the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to request that the proposed drilling be halted.
"We cannot have in the Aminuis, Stampriet and Aranos basin uranium mining that will destroy the vast areas if our agricultural sector. We can't have it; we don't want it; we don't need it," Swartbooi said, adding that in spite of Namibia having so many uranium mines in the country, no Namibian has benefited except for jobs. (New Era Aug. 29, 2022)
Rosatom subsidiary accused of downplaying hazards of proposed in situ leach uranium mining in Stampriet artesian basin:
The Stampriet Aquifer Uranium Mining (Saum) committee has accused Russian-owned Headspring Investments of sugar-coating the dangers of radioactivity in the country.
Saum is a pressure group comprising mainly farmers and owners of commercial establishments like lodges which depend on the Stampriet artesian basin for drinking water.
The group is opposed to the in-situ leach mining of uranium using sulphuric acid that Headspring advocates, fearing it would contaminate the water source that stretches into neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
The Saum committee says it is aware of, supports and feels responsible for the concerns of inhabitants of the Stampriet Artesian Basin regarding the safety of the only freshwater source within this 63,250 square-kilometer-wide area. (The Namibian July 30, 2022)
Ministry cancels two of Rosatom's uranium prospection permits in Stampriet artesian basin due to "gross negligence":
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has cancelled two prospecting permits once issued to, Headspring Investments that was seeking to find uranium in the Stampriet artesian basin.
The company was on a mission to drill 37 boreholes for uranium prospecting, a move that had angered southern farmers that depend on the basin for fresh water for their fresh produce.
In a letter dated 9 November 2021, agriculture executive director Percy Misika told the company that the government was cancelling the deal because it had identified gross negligence. "Based on the gross violations and non-compliance of permit conditions, Permit No 11561 and Permit No 11562 are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect and no further drilling is permitted," wrote Misika.
Misika said the ministry carried out a site visit last month and was "extremely concerned about Headspring Investment (Pvt) Ltd's non-compliance with conditions of permits no. 11561 and no. 11562, among others".
He said specifically the boreholes for hydro-geological study purposes are actually being drilled in a pattern mimicking that of the in-situ leaching technique proposed in the background information prepared by the consultant hired to carry out the environmental impact assessment process for that. "The exploration boreholes are not being drilled as per permit conditions where drilling activities require that the Kalahari aquifer be cased off and grouted before drilling into the Auob aquifer," Misika added. "Some of the exploration boreholes were left open for long periods allowing the mixing to last even longer. Forming pathways for the contaminants to enter the subsurface and unsealed boreholes are potential lock falls for livestock or wildlife," he said. (The Namibian Nov. 17, 2021)
Rosatom's Wings project: In situ leach uranium mining in Artesian basin? Namibian geologist: No way!:
Dr. Roy Miller, the former director of the Geological Surveying Service at the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), is a geologist at heart and soul. [...]
"For many years I have marketed this country as a mining destination, but this has always been done with respect for nature. With the best of intentions, I cannot agree with the MME in this case when it allows the mining company Headspring Investments (a subsidiary of the Russian company Uranium One Rosatom) to mine uranium in high-grade drinking water," explained the experienced geologist, who also became known for his work on the Cubango megafan of the Kalahari Basin - this enormous aquifer at the level of Ovamboland - of the [German] Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Geology and environmental protection are two sides of the same coin, Miller claims.
Miller repeatedly emphasized: "It just doesn't work! Regardless of how you approach this leaching process (in-situ leaching, ISL), this unique basin must inevitably become soiled. This water is not just for a few farmers! The aquifers of the Auob Formation provide drinking water for humans and animals in the waterless, southeastern Kalahari over an area of 60,000 km2. It stretches into Botswana and down to South Africa. The same water is also pumped in the two neighboring countries." Desperately, he pointed out the fact that HI has already carried out at least 1000 test wells since 2011 and the state has not seen any cause for concern. Miller is absolutely convinced that the boreholes were not all properly sealed with cement afterwards and that some of the chemicals used have already reached the artesian reservoir. (Allgemeine Zeitung Oct. 15, 2021)
Namibian Agricultural Union seriously concerned about Wings in situ leach uranium mine project:
The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) has expressed serious concern about the apparent increase in the number of exclusive prospecting licenses (EPLs) being issued by the Namibian government. [...]
NAU was particularly concerned about a proposed uranium mine in the Leonardville area. Many of the landowners seemed unaware of the possible impact in-situ leaching associated with uranium mining could have on meat and food production, tourism possibilities, and availability of drinking water, to name but a few, the statement said.
The organisation therefore advised landowners affected by EPLs in that country to register as interested and affected parties.
The planned uranium mine would be located in closed proximity to Stampriet Artesian Basin aquifers.
A scientific report made available to Farmer's Weekly by NAU indicated that abnormally high concentrations of uranium occurred in the area.
The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the porosity of the area where the mining was expected to take place fluctuated between 25% and 30%, which made it possible for uranium molecules, oxidised or reduced, to move through the aquifer with the normal southward flow of the water.
The authors of the report, the Environmental Compliance Consultancy, advised authorities that the mining of uranium be avoided.
"The aquifers in the Stampriet Artesian Basin are the life-blood of the farming, tourism and business communities in the Kalahari area of the south-eastern part of Namibia."
"The proposed uranium mining development and its probable environmental impact would have an enormously detrimental effect on the area including its economy, farming and the environment," the report said. (Farmer's Weekly Magazine Sep. 30, 2021)
Rosatom seeks license for acid in situ leach pilot project at Wings uranium deposit:
The proposed project involves a pilot project to extract uranium through an in-situ leaching process on selected target areas within the Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) 4655, held by Headspring Investments (Pty) Ltd. [a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom's Uranium One]
Headspring plan to take the project from the exploration stage to the next stage by developing and commencing a pilot plant to assess the potential success of extracting uranium through the in-situ leach process [using sulphuric acid]. This will be by means of a series of injection and rejection boreholes, pipelines, pumps, dosing and ion-exchange processes.
Environmental Compliance Consultancy (ECC) has been engaged by the proponent Headspring Investments (Pty) Ltd to undertake the Environmental, Social and Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in terms of the Environmental Management Act, 2007 and its regulations.
> View: Project Wings in the Omaheke Region (ECC Environmental Compliance Consultancy)
> View: documents related to latest license renewal application for EPL 4655 (Environmental Information Service Namibia)
(comments were due Aug. 23, 2021)
EPL 4655 was granted on Aug. 15, 2011, and it last expired on May 12, 2021 (MEE Oct. 4, 2021).
The prospect area is located approximately 10km north-west of Leonardville and 80 km south of Gobabis.
> View deposit info
Discovery of large uranium deposit announced in Namibia:
A large uranium deposit located between the Rössing Uranium Mine and Husab Mine was discovered recently.
The deposit was discovered by Namibia Uranium Corporation (NUC) , a company owned by the son of Swapo Elders Council's secretary, Mukwaita Shanyengana, Elias Shanyengana and late businessman Aaron Mushimba's son, Frans Mushimba.
Shanyengana told The Namibian last week that his discovery came after he acquired an Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) from the mines and energy ministry. He added that his company, "Science & Development Group ", has already secured a mining licence and has submitted development reports to the mines and energy ministry.
Mines permanent secretary Simeon Negumbo confirmed the discovery to The Namibian this week, adding that the company had also submitted the results of that exploration programme, "which mainly comprised drilling and sampling". (The Namibian Dec. 21, 2017)
[On June 4, 2017, the Ministry of Mines and Energy issued a renewal for Mining License No. 121 to Namibia Nuclear Corporation (Pty) Ltd. The original license had been issued on June 5, 2002, to Starting Right Investments Two Six One.]
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)
Mining Licence Application lodged for Tumas uranium mine project: On July 27, 2021, Deep Yellow Limited announced that the Tumas Project Mining Licence Application (MLA) was officially lodged with the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) on 21 July 2021, registered as MLA 237 on behalf of Reptile Uranium Namibia (Pty) Ltd (RUN), a wholly owned subsidiary of Deep Yellow.
Prefeasibility Study with 'encouraging results' presented for Tumas uranium open pit mine project - assuming more than twofold of current uranium price:
On Feb. 10, 2021, Deep Yellow Ltd announced 'encouraging results' from the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) conducted for its Tumas uranium open pit mine project, assuming an 11.5 year mine life with an average annual production of 972 t U plus some vanadium by-product. The study is based on a uranium price of US$ 65 per lb U3O8.
A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) will commence in February 2021.
> Calculate Mine Feasibility
"Encouraging results" of Scoping Study heralded for Tumas uranium open pit mine project - without giving details:
On Jan. 21, 2020, Deep Yellow Ltd announced the completion of a Scoping Study focused on the Reptile Project Tumas palaeochannel calcrete deposits. "Importantly, the Tumas Scoping Study has delivered encouraging results, which provided the Board with the confidence to proceed directly to a Pre-Feasibility Study."
However, "In view of [...] the Deep Yellow use of predominantly Inferred Resources on which to base the economic outcomes, the Company is prohibited in divulging any production targets and associated financial parameters [...]" ...
Ore beneficiation to improve economics of Tumas uranium mine project: On Sep. 12, 2016, Deep Yellow Limited announced that it has entered into a binding Technology Licence Agreement with Marenica Energy Ltd giving it the option to use Marenica's U-pgrade™ process on its Tumas Project. The testwork program demonstrated that processing Tumas ore through the U-pgrade™ process has the potential to reject up to 98% of the mass whilst recovering over 82% of the uranium.
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
> View deposit info: Omahola
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
Namibia refuses Mining Licences for Inca and Tubas Red Sand uranium mine projects on economic grounds: "The Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy declined the Mining Licence Applications lodged in 2011 for the so-called INCA Project and the Tubas Red Sands Project on economic grounds. Realistically this has no impact on DYL because the INCA Project has been superseded by the much larger Omahola Heap Leach Project and the Tubas Sand Project is, at current prices, clearly uneconomic. The Tubas Sand Project was placed on hold by the Company in 2014 specifically for economic reasons." (Deep Yellow Limited, Quarterly Activities Report for the period ending 30 June 2016, 29 July 2016)
Tubas Sand uranium mine to be developed as interim standalone project: Peter Christians, Country Manager of Deep Yellow this week confirmed that it is seeking partners to develop its Tubas Sands uranium deposit as a stand alone project. This, he mentioned, would allow Deep Yellow to start mining albeit on a small scale citing its size and the fact that the area lies in a national park as considerations that have to be included in the final project strategy. Deep Yellow intends to mine Tubas Sands until its flagship Omahola project would come on stream. The Tubas project would in the interim supply a host of prospective Namibian buyers and could possibly later supply the Omahola project. Reptile Uranium Namibia (RUN), Deep Yellow's Namibian subsidiary has already entered into negotiations with prospective partners to develop the Tubas mining resource. The material will be sold as an intermediate product, to be processed on site. The ore would be upgraded through a physical beneficiation process and would be transported to the buyers either via truck or piped as slurry. A processing plant is to be constructed and has already garnered the necessary regulatory approval required by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Christians added. A separate Environmental Impact Assessment, however, has to be submitted and must look at the transportation of the uranium concentrate to its prospective buyers, he explained. (Namibia Economist May 16, 2014)
Tubas Sand uranium mine project to include only ore beneficiation for off-site milling: On May 8, 2014, Deep Yellow Limited announced the completion of a preliminary techno-economic trade-off study for the Tubas Sand Project in Namibia. The study compared five processing options representing various levels of beneficiation, yielding products ranging from an upgraded sand concentrate through to uranium bearing precipitates. A physical beneficiation option consisting of ore scrubbing, classification and dewatering to produce an upgraded sand concentrate for sale to existing Namibian producers has been selected as the preferred strategy.
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
Revised scoping study keeps mum about production costs of Marenica uranium mine project:
On Apr. 18, 2017, Marenica Energy Ltd announced the completion of a revised scoping study on its 75% owned Marenica project. In the company's announcement, the project is characterized as "highly competitive with industry peers", but no details on the economics are reported.
The U-pgrade™ [ore beneficiation] process is expected to recover approximately 76% of the uranium into approximately 1.6% of the mass, producing a concentrate of about 5,000 ppm U3O8.
Revised scoping study commenced on Marenica uranium mine project: On Jan. 19, 2017, Marenica Energy Ltd announced that it has commenced a revised scoping study on its 75% owned Marenica project. The study is to seek confirmation that the project is viable in the US$ 65-75 per lb U3O8 price range, using the company's U-pgrade™ ore beneficiation technology.
Marenica uranium mine project officially mothballed for five years:
On Dec. 19, 2016, Marenica Energy Limited announced that the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has granted a Mineral Deposit Retention Licence (MDRL) on its Marenica Uranium Project in Namibia. The MDRL replaces the current EPL (Exclusive Prospecting Licence). The MDRL shall
endure for a period of five (5) years from the date of issue with no exploration expenditure obligations.
MDRL's are applicable to projects, such as the Marenica Uranium Project, which are not profitable at the current market conditions but will become profitably exploitable when conditions change for the better and the commodity price reaches a certain level.
Pre-concentration process for Marenica ore might work with sea water rather than desalination water:
On July 8, 2013, Marenica Energy Ltd announced outstanding bench scale testwork results have been achieved on the Marenica ore using the 'U-pgrade' process with an upgrade of > 60 times producing a leach feed grade of > 5,500 ppm U3O8 from an ore grade of 94 ppm U3O8. The 'U-pgrade' process very effectively reduces the mass of material that needs to be leached.
The bench scale testwork has predominantly occurred using Perth tap water (similar to desalination plant water available in Namibia), but recent tests in sea water have produced very similar results to Perth tap water. This is a significant outcome considering that desalination water makes up approximately 30% of the process operating costs.
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)
Positive scoping study for heap leaching proposal at Marenica uranium deposit:
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)
> Calculate Mine Feasibility
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)
> View more recent issues
Chinese-owned Husab mine produces first uranium:
Swakop Uranium, the owner of the Husab Uranium mine in the Erongo region produced its first drum of uranium oxide in December .
The company said this week that because of its production size, Husab will be the largest uranium mine in the world.
The Husab mine has taken 10 years to develop. CEO Zheng Keping said Swakop Uranium is fortunate to have a guaranteed uptake of its 2017 production, which will all by agreement be sold to its majority shareholder China General Nuclear Power Company, the largest developer of nuclear power in the world.
Husab is expected to produce 226 tonnes of uranium oxide [192 t U] in 2017, rising to 4,535 tons [3,846 t U] in 2018, stockbroker Simonis Storm Securities said in a 2017 economic outlook report released last week. (Namibian Jan. 25, 2017)
Beata Muteka, Brand Manager at Swakop Uranium's Husab Mine, told Xinhua that the mine produced the first drum of uranium oxide on Dec. 30, 2016. According to her, the plant will continue to be optimized in 2017, and the throughput will progressively be ramped up towards the target of 15 million pounds of U3O8 [5,769 t U] per year. (Global Times Jan. 27, 2017)
Uranium production at Husab mine to start in late October: Production at Swakop Uranium's Husab mine in the Erongo region will start next month, CEO Zheng Keping said yesterday. "Production will start in late October," the CEO said. (Namibian Sep. 29, 2016)
Unprecedented drought hampers imminent commissioning of Husab uranium mine:
The construction of the Husab Uranium Mine is as good as done - but the mine faces a serious challenge in the commissioning process. Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila visited the single largest uranium plant in the world situated in the Erongo Region on Friday last week where she was informed about a serious water supply shortage.
"This is the start where we breathe life into the mine," said Zheng Keping, Chief Executive Officer of Swakop Uranium, while addressing the Prime Minister on Friday (July 29) during a mine visit. While he briefed Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on the astounding construction progress made to date, he also informed her about the imminent water shortage which will hamper the future of the mine. "Between ourselves, Honourable Prime Minister, we face a challenge to provide sufficient water to meet our needs. Swakop Uranium is reliant on NamWater to supply the mine and NamWater procures water from the Areva desalination facility at Wlotzkasbaken. The upgrade of the desalination facility to meet our demands is not expected to be completed by November this year resulting in an expected shortfall in the next few months. These next few months are important in the commissioning of Husab," Keping said. The CEO added that "we are ready to support the national water utility NamWater to meet our needs."
In her reply Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said that the current drought is unparalleled and that it is for that reason that a national State of Emergency was called by the president. (Namib Times Aug. 2, 2016)
Husab uranium mine operational by third quarter 2016:
Husab Mine, being developed by Swakop Uranium will be fully operational in the third quarter of 2016, a decade after a rich uranium deposit was discovered in the Namib desert northeast of Swakopmund in western-central region of Erongo. This was announced on Friday (Apr. 15) by Swakop Uranium CEO Zheng Keping, who also revealed that the construction of the processing plant at the N$20 billion (US$ 1.37 billion) project has reached over 96 percent completion.
Once fully operational, the mine will be one of the biggest open pit uranium projects in the world, churning out 150 million tonnes of rock and producing over 15 million pounds of processed uranium oxide (5,769 t U) per year. Keping said the capital investment in the Husab will exceed $2 billion, which is by far the single biggest investment by China in Africa. (StarAfrica April 15, 2016)
Farmers demonstrate against groundwater abstraction for uranium mines: On Feb. 5, 2016, about 50 people held a protest march in Swakopmund demonstrating against groundwater abstraction from the Swakop Rivier for uranium mines. (Allgemeine Zeitung Feb. 8, 2106)
Farmers affected by groundwater abstraction for construction of Husab uranium mine: Vegetable farmers who use groundwater from the Swakop Rivier are complaining about decreasing water levels and decreasing water quality in their wells. As the pipeline from the coastal desalination plant cannot transport enough fresh water for the construction phase of the Husab uranium mine, Swakop Uranium recently started abstracting groundwater from the Swakop Rivier, as licensed five years ago for the construction phase only. (Allgemeine Zeitung Jan. 15, 2016)
Fire destroys part of milling plant under construction at Husab uranium mine site: A fire destroyed a ball mill in one of the processing plants at Swakop Uranium's Husab mine on Monday (Dec. 28) afternoon. The plant, which was under construction before the fire, was expected to be completed before the end of this year. Sources told Nampa on Tuesday (Dec. 29) that a welder was welding inside the mill when a spark started the fire in the lining of the mill. (Namibian Dec. 29, 2015)
Namibian High Court declares strike at Husab mine project illegal:
The High Court of Namibia has declared a strike of more than 800 workers at the Husab uranium mine project illegal. The strike has been ongoing for several days.
(Allgemeine Zeitung Nov. 25, 2015)
In spite of the court decision, the strike continued on Nov. 25, 2015. (Allgemeine Zeitung Nov. 26, 2015)
The strike ended on Nov. 26, 2015. (Allgemeine Zeitung Nov. 27, 2015)
Namibian contract workers down tools at Husab mine: Over 100 Namibian workers of the Group Five company, which is one of the main contractors for constructing infrastructure for Swakop Uranium's Husab mine production plant, downed tools yesterday and prohibited more than 200 of their foreign colleagues from doing their work, too. Workers on the mine site said they no longer want foreigners employed in positions that Namibians can fill. (Namibian June 5, 2015)
Uranium mining at Husab to start in May: China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp. intends to start mining at its Husab uranium project in Namibia in May and process the first uranium oxide next February. "We have been clearing the overburden of sand and we will start mining ore from May onwards," Percy McCallum, spokesman for CGNPC's Namibian unit, Swakop Uranium, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Friday. "We expect to have stockpiled 1 million tons of ore by December." (Bloomberg Feb. 6, 2015)
Workers at Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine project demonstrate to denounce unfair conditions of employment:
Workers of Swakop Uranium's Husab Mine in Erongo staged a demonstration at the company's headquarters in Swakopmund on Friday (Jan. 23), and handed a list of grievances to the management together with a one-week ultimatum to respond.
Most of the disgruntled workers, said to be over 200, are operators at the mine - some responsible for the large fleet of earth-moving equipment.
According to the petition, read by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia Husab shop-steward, Rudolf Kahingunga, the mine pays its workers less than what other mines do, especially to the special equipment operators. They also complained that they did not have benefits such as housing allowances and medical aid cover. According to Kahingunga, the company moreover applies the Chinese practice of paying childless employees more than those with two or more children.
"We know Husab mine is a joint venture between the government of Namibia and China, but we are not prepared to be exploited like those who work in China shops," said the petition. (The Namibian, Allgemeine Zeitung Jan. 26, 2015)
Construction of sulfuric-acid plant to start at Husab uranium mine: China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp. will start building a sulfuric-acid plant next month at its Husab uranium mine in Namibia. The facility will have capacity to produce 1,500 metric tons of acid daily, or about 500,000 tons annually, Grant Marais, a spokesman for CGNP's Namibian unit Swakop Uranium, said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions. "The plant will be ready to produce when the processing plant comes on stream end of 2015," Marais said. Husab will use all the output from the planned plant and any additional needs "would be supplemented through imports," he said. (Bloomberg Aug. 20, 2014)
Husab uranium mine may supply offtake to Cameco:
General Nuclear Power Holding Corp. said Cameco Corp. has shown interest in buying offtake output from the Chinese company's Husab uranium mine in Namibia.
Offtake shipments from the mine will start next year, Deon Garbers, senior vice president for operations at CGN's Namibian unit, said yesterday (May 8) in an interview in Swakopmund. Cameco, based in Saskatoon, is Canada's biggest uranium producer. "Cameco is definitely a potential customer," said Garbers. "Depending on how much they will take, we might also sell to other customers." (Bloomberg May 9, 2014)
Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine (formerly Rössing South) commissioned:
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday (May 8) commissioned the multi-billion-dollar Swakop Uranium's Husab Mine that is expected to make the southern African country the second largest uranium miner in the world after Kazakhstan.
The mine, located in Erongo region, is projected to have an annual production of 15 million pounds of uranium oxide [5,769 t U], which is more than the total current production of the uranium output in the southern African state. Production is expected to start in the last half of 2015, with more than 2,000 jobs created at the mine whose projected lifespan is 20 years. The investors have so far spent over US$ 669 million into the development of the mine while total capital expenditure is expected to exceed US$ 2 billion. (StarAfrica May 8, 2014)
Husab uranium mine to start operation:
Swakop Uranium, a company controlled by China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC), has started filling vacant permanent positions with a view to a May 8 opening of its Husab Project near the town of Swakopmund in the Erongo region of west-central Namibia.
The first blast on the Swakop Uranium Husab Project site was detonated on March 12, 2014, thereby heralding the start of mining activities on what would become the world's second largest uranium mine. Swakop Uranium's Vice-President for Operations, Deon Garbers, was quoted in a statement issued to Nampa Thursday (Apr. 10) that the plan was to ensure that a run-of-mine (ROM) stockpile of ore would be ready for processing on completion of construction of the processing plant this year. (Bernama Apr. 11, 2014)
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
Renewal of Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) requested for Zhonghe uranium mine project:
"The application for the renewal of the current Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) is required for the proposed uranium mining activities in the Mining License (ML) No. 177. [...]
Since the granting of the ML No. 177 on the 30/11/2012, no mining or mine related construction activities have been undertake due to the low global uranium price that currently makes the project not economic, however this is likely to change in the near future hence the need to have a valid ECC for quick project implementation."
Submit comments by September 23, 2021.
> View/Download: APP-002802 - Proposed uranium mining activities in the Mining License (ML) No. 177, Karibib / Swakopmund Districts, Erongo Region, Namibia (MET)
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.
Worse still, the document does not contain any assessment at all, it could just pass as a scoping document, if anything. Miraculously, though, it must somehow have passed the Namibian licensing process.
> 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 Khan 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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