BARLOWORLD Equipment has been awarded a contract in excess of US$130 million by Swakop Uranium for mining equipment for the greenfield Husab uranium project in Namibia.
The order is for the supply, assembly and commissioning of three Cat 6060FS hydraulic face shovels, three 7495 electric rope shovels, six MD6290 rotary blasthole drill rigs, two MD6640 rotary blasthole drills and two C175 diesel engine motivators. The order has been placed with Barloworld Equipment's Extended Mining Product Range (EMPR) business which was formed to sell and support legacy Bucyrus products rebranded to Cat following Caterpillar's acquisition of Bucyrus in 2011.
This represents the most significant EMPR transaction for Barloworld since its appointment as the dealer for the extended range of mining products in mid-2012. Most of the new machines will be commissioned in 2014.
The Husab Project, located about 50km to the east of Swakopmund, is regarded as the most important uranium discovery of recent years and will elevate Namibia to the third biggest uranium producer in the world.
Swakop Uranium is 90% owned by Taurus Minerals, a subsidiary of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co (CGNPC). A 10% stake has recently been acquired by Namibia's state-owned Epangelo Mining Company.
Husab has a potential mine life of more than 20 years, with uranium reserves of at least 280 million tonnes. First production is expected towards the end of 2015, ramping up to full production by 2017. Mining will be from two separate open pits feeding a single process plant.