30 November 2012

Namibia: Epangelo Seals N$1.8 Billion Uranium Deal

Walvis Bay — State-owned Epangelo Mining has signed the acquisition of a 10 percent stake in Swakop Uranium's Husab project, in a deal worth nearly N$2 billion.

The N$1.8 billion deal was signed on Wednesday in Windhoek with the Chinese state company that owns Swakop Uranium's Husab project. Epangelo Mining's 10 percent in Swakop Uranium is a non-dilutable, fully funded and ring-fenced equity participation that includes board participation and support in other operational aspects of the mine. The acquisition is hot on the heels of the announcement by Taurus Minerals - the owners of Swakop Uranium's Husab project - that the mine would come on stream in the third quarter of 2015.

"We are confident that we will be able to build on the spirit of the negotiations to ensure that the Husab mine also takes other social and economic aspects such as local procurement for small and medium enterprises, local recruitment of senior management, involvement in social responsibility programmes, and training and education into account," said Epangelo Mining Managing Director Eliphas Hawala. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) Uranium Resources and the China-Africa Development Fund jointly own Taurus Minerals Limited.

They have already signed a contract for engineering, procurement and construction management valued at N$822 million (£62 million).

"The Namibian Government is regarded internationally as responsible, stable and predictable where sound infrastructure supports the development of a project of this magnitude," said the deputy chairman of Swakop Uranium, Zheng Keping.

Swakop Uranium is poised to contribute 5 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 20 percent to the country's merchandise exports and generate N$1.7 billion in annual revenue for government, read a statement released yesterday.

The project will also create more than 6 000 temporary jobs during the construction phase and about 2 000 permanent operational job opportunities. The acquisition of the shares also brings Epangelo closer to fulfilling the company's objectives of ensuring state participation in the country's mineral resource development, mining beneficiation and creation of job opportunities in the industry for Namibians.

Epangelo was established to explore, mine and develop what government regards as strategic mineral rights in the country.

Minister of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali, said the government is confident that Epangelo Mining will be a significant vehicle to ensure Namibia's increased participation in the mining sector and provide an avenue for win-win co-operation between Namibia and China.

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