5 August 2013

Namibia: Construction of Husab Uranium Mine Progressing Well

The construction of the world-class Husab uranium mine in the Erongo Region is making good progress, evidenced by the issuance of contracts worth close to N$ 5 billion.

"More than 45% of the value of the contracts went to Namibian registered companies," said Swakop Uranium's Director of Communication and Stakeholder Involvement, Grant Marais on Thursday during a meeting of local Chinese businesspeople at the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek.

The meeting was attended by several Chinese businesspeople operating in Namibia.

Marais said many aspects of construction are underway, including the permanent road linking the mine to the B2 road between Arandis and Swakopmund, the Kahn River bridge, temporary water pipeline, bulk earth works, camp construction and permanent power lines.

"Progress to date is aligned with the project plan, which puts us on track to start exporting our product in the last quarter of 2015," Marais said.

He indicated that the permanent access road and bridge construction over the Khan River is progressing well, and will be 22 kilometres in length on completion in April 2014.

The mine will use 7 million cubes of desalinated water per annum in full production.

"This water will be sourced from the existing desalination plant to ensure that the mine has no negative impact on the coastal water resources," he said.

Power will be sourced from NamPower, and at peak production the mine will require 120 megawatts to drive all productions.

Upon completion, the Husab mine will be the second largest uranium mine in the world after McArthur River in Canada, said Marais.

At the current exchange rate, Swakop Uranium will have an annual turnover of N$10 billion once the Husab mine is in full production. The Husab project will furthermore contribute five percent to the Namibian Gross Domestic Product, 20% to the country's merchandise exports, and generate between N$1,1 billion to N$1,7 billion per year in Government revenue.

The project will also create more than 6 000 temporary jobs during construction, and about 1 800 permanent operational jobs. The mine has a potential lifespan of more than 20 years.

Swakop Uranium, is owned by China General Nuclear Power Holdings Co, China Africa Development Fund and state-owned mining company, Epangelo Mining.

- Nampa

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