Namibia: Navachab's Historic Blast Takes It Underground

Navachab Gold Mine recently reached a significant milestone in its plans to undertake underground mining when it executed a historic blast resulting in a 5.5m x 5.5m portal drive.

This is the first step towards the mine's plans to undertake underground mining in addition to the open pit mining it has been operating since its establishment in 1989.

The mine is conducting a trial underground mining project as a result of positive outcomes by a conceptual study conducted in 2020. This comes at a cost of more than N$160 million and aims to employ 90 staff for the trial underground mining period.

The trial mine is to run until the end of 2021 after which further studies will be conducted to assess underground mining viability.

Managing Director, George Botshiwe said that Navachab's expansion endeavours were brought about by the successful employee-driven turnaround strategy - aptly named Project Khaima (rise up in the local Damara language).

"Project Khaima enabled the mine to turnaround the unsustainable cost base which faced us in 2018 to a sustainable cash flow position, which has made the company self-funding and has enabled investment into expansion projects which are critical to the sustainability of the mine," Botshiwe said.

Botshiwe added that the trial mine and eventual underground mining will open up a huge opportunity for Navachab, placing it on an upward trajectory. Navachab Gold Mine has additional expansion plans which will be revealed in due course.

The historic blast resulted in a 5.5m x 5.5m portal drive.

More From: Namibia Economist

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