Namibia approaches Norway for advice on phosphate mining on seabed

WINDHOEK: Namibia has approached Norway for advice on phosphate mining on the seabed, with a major project slated for the year 2015.

Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Samuel Ankama said this on behalf of Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau during the North Atlantic Seafood Forum Conference in Bergen, Norway from 04 to 06 March 2014.

In his statement presented under the theme The Namibia Marine Phosphate Mining Research Moratorium availed to Nampa yesterday, Esau said this pilot project is now underway and is funded by the Namibian government, with the goal to launch a major project during 2015.

The main project will include the entire marine food chain, and should also focus on food safety, as mining on the shelf off the coast of Namibia could lead to an increased content of unwanted and harmful substances in fish.

He noted that this is very important to determine, because if allowed un-researched it has a potential to affect public health, export opportunities and wealth creation.

A moratorium on the issuance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) clearance certificates on bulk seabed mining for industrial minerals as well as base and rare metals in Namibian waters was put in place for a minimum of three years.

Cabinet made this decision during its 13th Ordinary meeting in September 2013.