Otjikoto Gold Mine to commence production next month

WINDHOEK: The Otjikoto Gold Mine will commence with the production of gold next month.

Leake Hangala, the chairperson of B2Gold Namibia which owns the mine, told Nampa on enquiry yesterday that production at the mine, currently still under construction in the Otjozondjupa Region, will commence in mid-December this year.

He said 95 per cent of the construction is completed, and the mine is expected to be fully-operational next month.

The Otjikoto mine is expected to produce between 140 000 to 150 000 ounces of gold at a cash-operating cost in the range of approximately N.dollars 5 547 to N.dollars 5 824 per ounce range, depending on the exchange rate.

The company said in a trading update on the Namibian Stock Exchange accessed yesterday that once the planned mill expansion is completed in the third quarter of 2015, the company expects that annual gold production from the main Otjikoto pit will increase significantly to approximately 200 000 ounces in 2016 and 170 000 ounces in 2017.

The mine is located approximately 300 kilometres north of Windhoek between Otjiwarongo and Otavi.

It is owned 90 per cent by B2Gold Namibia and 10 per cent by EVI Mining (Proprietary) Ltd, a Namibian empowerment group.

B2Gold currently employs more than 500 people.

WINDHOEK; The DTA of Namibia has put its weight behind former Swapo youth leader, Job Amupanda in his ‘Affirmative Repositioning’ of land action.

DTA president McHenry Venaani said in a media statement issued yesterday that unaffordable property prices and overwhelming lack of serviced land prevents ordinary Namibians from access to land.

The “Affirmative Repositioning” attempt refers to Amupanda and two other Namibian youth (George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma)’s recent ‘land grabbing’ in Windhoek’s Kleine Kuppe residential area.

He added that the City of Windhoek (CoW) has been awarding land to the country’s political elite and those connected to it, often at massively discounted prices and through dubious and non-transparent procedures, while others are forced to pay market-related prices.

Venaani said the development of a policy on the sale of land to national leaders by the Windhoek Municipality is nothing short of institutionalised discrimination.

The CoW has refused to address the plight of ordinary people living in Windhoek who are simply unable to afford property at current prices, said Venaani.

The opposition party stands firm in the assertion that while Amupanda’s actions may have been illegal, they are nevertheless legitimate.

The party believes that the Windhoek Municipality must be held responsible, because if it had been serving the needs and interests of the residents of Windhoek, instead of their own and that of their political masters, there would have been no need for land-grabbing.