Exploratory mining prospector, Headspring Investments defended its drilling work at the Stampriet Artesian Basin after the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform cancelled two prospecting permits previously issued to them.
The company was busy drilling 37 boreholes for uranium prospecting. The project was objected to by farmers in the Stampriet area who depend on the basin for freshwater. The Ministry cancelled the project because it had identified gross negligence following a site visit on 15 October.
Headspring Investments has been conducting exploration work in Namibia since 2010 and has eight valid exploration licences.
Andrey Shutov, president of Uranium One Group, representing Headspring said all work at the site is being carried out in strict compliance with Namibian law.
"The Company regularly informs drilling contractors of the permit conditions, and the contract with all contractors includes clauses regulating the mandatory presence of all registrations and permits for work in the country, as well as compliance with all environmental requirements and specifications," Shutov said.
Shutov added that reports in the manner prescribed by the ministry have now been prepared and are being sent to the agriculture ministry. In addition to these reports, Headspring Investments has sent information on exploration wells drilled to the ministry on a notification basis at the request of the ministry.
"Headspring Investments engaged a contractor registered with agriculture ministry in accordance with all requirements of this ministry to carry out this type of work in the region for hydrogeological drilling," he added.
According to Shutov, the company's foreign direct investment of more than USD28 million has resulted in the employment of more than 100 people and the transfer of knowledge.