India and Namibia should explore for uranium together: Geingob

WINDHOEK: President Hage Geingob called on the Indian government to negotiate with existing companies that are mining in Namibia in order to buy uranium.

In 2009, the Namibian government signed a cooperation agreement on Uranium.

‘Through the agreement that Namibia and India have signed on uranium, there is no possibility for India to buy uranium directly from the Namibian government since the mineral is mined by private companies,’ said Geingob on Wednesday during his meeting with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the three-day India-Africa Summit underway in that south Asian country.

Geingob reiterated that the Namibian government does not own uranium mine.

He said that uranium can also be acquired through securing prospecting licenses.

He also advised the Indian government to use the option of negotiating with the existing companies that are mining uranium in Namibia.

‘There is also the option for India and Namibia to collaborate through a joint exploration through the government-owned Epangelo Mining,’ Geingob told the Indian leader.

On his part, Modi responded by saying that India will work towards putting mechanisms in place to pursue those options.

‘India is keen to promote clean energy and due to this, the country needs uranium. The challenge now is figuring out a mechanism for getting it,’ he said.

He indicated that India has also entered into agreements with Australia, United States of America and Canada which are binding Namibia with numerous regulations regarding the use of the mineral.

Nambia is the fifth largest producer of uranium in the world.

After Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) allowed trade in nuclear technology and fuel with India, the South Asian country has been looking to ramp up its production of nuclear energy to meet its need for increasing electricity.

NSG is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.

SOURCE: THE NAMIBIA PRESS AGENCY