21 December 2017

Namibia: New Uranium Deposit Discovered

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 ministry could, however, not confirm the volume of the deposit.

Negumbo said the ministry will only announce the results on the prospective exploration on that area when the company has submitted the final results.

Shanyengana said the company has started exploration and the development is expected to start in two to three years.

He said he started with a "rapid exploration methodology" on the site he got through the EPL and discovered "a large uranium deposit that is capable of becoming the largest uranium producer in the country".

Shanyengana also said after development, the deposit has the capability of placing Namibia at the top in terms of uranium production in the world, with over 200 000 tonnes uranium oxide expected.

According to Shanyengana, the deposit displays superior mining characteristics for instance, "being both a surface and sub-surface occurrence with recorded uranium values ranging from 117-2 350 ppm (parts per million)".

He added that the uranium oxide (U3O8) tonnage at the site stands at 86 000 tonnes "despite only 60% of the mineralised area having been explored", which he said qualifies the site to be world-class.

During the exploration, Shangengana said they used their own funds and local expertise and strategy to "setup and utilise a diversified local mining contractor".

"This demonstrates how locals, and indeed people in developing countries could readily discover great mining and larger development opportunities essential for transforming developing countries like Namibia [...] to boost sustainable industrial and socio-economic emancipation," Shanyengana said.

Shanyengana, however, said they were still looking for potential sponsors and investors (local and international) to fund the project.

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