Start-Up At Husab Mine Creates Big Expectations

EVERYTHING about Swakop’s Husab Uranium Mine that officially started operations last Thursday is big – from its cost and logistics, to benefits for Namibia.

The N$20 billion mine, of which China’s Taurus Minerals Limited (owned by China General Nuclear Power Company) holds a majority 90% stake (and the state-owned Epangelo Mining Company has 10%) is the biggest investment in Namibia since Independence. It is also the biggest single investment by China in Africa.

Husab, which will become the second largest uranium mine in the world, will have an annual turnover of N$10 billion and contributes 5% to Namibia’s state coffers, as well as increase exports value by 20% – about N$1,7 billion more to government’s revenue every year.

Furthermore, Husab will create more than 6 000 temporary jobs during the construction phase and about 1 600 permanent jobs (which is an increase of 17% in employment in the mining sector). A contractors’ ‘village’ will accommodate 4 000 people.

Full capacity is expected to be reached within the next 18 months, and is projected that 15 million pounds of uranium oxide a year will be produced at Husab.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the development and opening of the mine demonstrates that Namibia continues to be an attractive destination for foreign direct investment due to political stability and the macro-economic policies adopted and pursued by the government.

He said such investments also contribute to the achievement of Namibia’s national development objectives such as the sustainable utilisation of our natural resources, expanding job creation and facilitating the transfer of skills to our workers.

“Uranium is one of the natural resources that can contribute significantly to the social and economic development of our country. In order to attract more foreign investments, our government will continue to improve the investment climate in our country through the development and review of relevant laws and policies governing Namibia’s foreign investment framework,” said Pohamba.

Husab will become a key supply base of natural uranium products for nuclear power stations.

“It will guarantee the natural uranium demand of 20 million kilo-watt nuclear units for nearly 40 years, thus making an enormous contribution to China’s economic growth,” said chairman of China General Nuclear Power Company, Wang Yiren.

Source : The Namibian