Husab Uranium Mine

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Place.png Husab Uranium MineRdf-icon.png

The Husab Uranium Mine (formerly known as Rössing South) is being developed near the town of Swakopmund in the Erongo region of western-central Namibia, and is located approximately 60km from the deep-water port of Walvis Bay and 10km from the Rössing Uranium Mine. When in full production Husab is expected to be the second largest uranium mine in the world after the McArthur River uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada and the largest open-pit mine on the African continent.[1]

Licensed to drill

On 1 December 2011, the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy licensed Swakop Uranium to develop the Husab Uranium Mine which contains approximately 280 million tonnes of uranium ore and has the potential to produce 6,800 tonnes of yellowcake per annum.[2][3][4][5]

Extract Resources

Swakop Uranium was established in 2006 by Extract Resources, an Australian company that was listed on the Australian, Canadian, and Namibian stock exchanges, to explore, evaluate, develop, and produce uranium oxide.[6] In 2009 Extract Resources, 15 per cent owned by Rio Tinto Group and 41 per cent by London investor Kalahari Minerals, began seeking a partner to develop Rössing South through a process run by investment bank Rothschild.[7] In June 2010, it was reported that the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp (Rosatom) wanted to invest in Rössing South and that talks had taken place between Vladimir Putin and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba resulting in a five-year memorandum of co-operation between the countries to develop Namibian uranium deposits.[8]

Chinese takeover

Less than two years later, however, Swakop Uranium was acquired by Taurus Minerals Limited which is a subsidiary of the China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC), Uranium Resources Co. Ltd and the China-Africa Development Fund.[9] Taurus now owns ninety percent of Swakop Uranium. The remaining 10% is owned by Epangelo Mining Company, the Namibian state-owned mining company.[10] CGNPC’s investment in Swakop Uranium is one of the biggest investments in Namibia since its independence, and by far the single biggest investment by China in Africa. More than US$100-million (N$1-billion) has been spent to reach the construction phase. A further US$2-billion (N$20-billion) will be required to bring the mine online.[11]

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Rossing File:The Inside Story of Britain's Secret Contract for Namibian Uraniumpamphlet1980Alun RobertsScandal in the 1970s and 1980s of collusion by successive British governments with the mining conglomerate Rio Tinto to import yellowcake from the Rössing Uranium Mine in Namibia (illegally occupied by apartheid South Africa) in defiance of international law, and leading to the targeting of UN Commissioner for Namibia Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988.


References

  1. Swakop Uranium. Accessed 8 June 2015. Archived 26 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Namibia: Construction of Husab Uranium Mine Progressing Well. All Africa website 5 August 2013. Accessed 27 February 2015.
  3. Mining licence granted for Husab. World nuclear news organisation 30 November. Accessed 27 February 2015.
  4. Chinese-invested Husab uranium mine kicks off construction in Namibia - Xinhua News.xinhuanet.com 19 April 2013. Accessed 27 February 2015.
  5. Husab Uranium Project details, news, tenders and jobs. EPC Engineer Accessed 27 February 2015.
  6. "Extract Resources delisted"
  7. "Kalahari Minerals affiliate Extract Resources names ex-Rio Tinto man Jonathan Leslie CEO"
  8. "Russians threaten Extract's uranium site in Namibia"
  9. Uranium in Namibia World-nuclear.org. Accessed 27 February 2015.
  10. "Epangelo Mining Company"
  11. Moolman S. Namibia breaks ground on world’s third-largest uranium deposit. Mining Weekly website. Accessed 27 February 2015.