Waiting game for Swakop Uranium
Following the recent release of an executive summary of the Scoping Report (including impact assessment) for the storage and handling of Swakop Uranium’s chemicals and reagents at the Walvis Bay Port, interested and affected parties and authorities have up until 30 April to put up their comments on the the proposed storage facility.
Swakop Uranium is in the process of constructing and developing a uranium mine in their Mining Licence Area (ML 171), called the Husab Mine. As per the project schedule the processing plant is planned to be commissioned in December 2015. In SLR’s report, the reagents and chemicals that will be used in the processing plant will be imported through the port of Walvis Bay. They will be sourced in advance and stored within the boundaries of the Namibian Ports Authority’s (NamPort) harbour area. Swakop Uranium had said a dedicated facility therefore needed to be constructed within NamPort’s harbour area for the safe storage of the reagents before they are transported to the Husab Mine. However, the storage and handling of reagents at the port facility was excluded from the previous assessments hence, Swakop Uranium appointed SLR Environmental Consulting Namibia to manage the EIA process for the proposed storage and handling of chemicals and reagents at the Walvis Bay Port.
According to SLR, the EIA public participation process commenced in February 2015 and a public meeting and a focus group meeting were held with interested and affected parties towards the middle of February 2015. Subsequently, SLR prepared a scoping (including impact assessment) Report that is now available for review by Interested and Affected Parties (IAPs). Meanwhile, Swakop Uranium said that currently, the way forward for the EIA scoping phase is to distribute the Scoping Report and a summary thereof for review by the IAPs and authorities; as well as submit the Final Scoping Report (with comments) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) – Department of Environmental Affairs; and for the MET to review the Scoping Report and provide record of decision.