Lifeline for UIS Miners

Small-scale miners at Uis have secured N$5 million from River Deep Resources in a venture to revive the Uis tin and tantaline mine in due course.

The N$5 million was guaranteed after the small-scale miners who hold the mining licence for the tin mine concluded an agreement with River Deep Resources, with the assistance of business mogul Knowledge Katti.

The funds were secured earlier this month.

The agreement is said to be a strategic deal that will greatly benefit not only the residents of Uis but the Namibian economy as a whole.

The revival of the mine would of course mean jobs and better living conditions for Uis residents – the bulk of them unemployed – and give them the opportunity to make a living from selling semi-precious stones to tourists.

The tin mine, which had a life span of 72 years, was abruptly closed in 1990 causing a massive dent in local tin production and the social and living conditions of the town situated 180 km from Swakopmund in Erongo Region.

The town is home to about 600 residents.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali, the Deputy Director in the Directorate of Energy and the Chairperson of the Small Miners of Uis, Helena Intamba, expressed appreciation for the way the community would benefit from their own resources.

“We must do everything in our power to ensure that our community benefits from their own resources. Investors must not only come and explore but they must look after the well-being of our residents as well,” she said.

Speaking on Tuesday to New Era at Walvis Bay, Katti said N$4 million would be managed by the miners themselves as the money would be ploughed into community projects and the development of the small-scale miners.

Explaining further, Katti said the funds would be used to develop small-scale miners so that their projects become stable income-generating initiatives that will enable them to grow at international level.

Katti said it was necessary that investors especially in the mining industry be encouraged to make financial injections as this improves the living standards of the communities they operate in.

Katti said N$550 000 of the remaining N$1 million was used to buy food that was distributed to close to 550 residents of Uis while the remaining N$450 00 will be used to upgrade several water points.

Source : New Era