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More woes for TransNamib as sulphuric acid carrier derails

It never rains but pours for the national railway carrier of Namibia, TransNamib as earlier this week Train 2703 with two Class 34 locomotives carrying a load of 20 sulphuric acid tankers set for Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium mine derailed at point 176 en-route from Walvis Bay to Arandis.

According to TransNamib’s executive spokesperson, Struggle Ihuhua no injuries were recorded but as a result of the incident, normal passenger and freight rail traffic from Walvis Bay to both Windhoek and the north will be affected and further information as per development on the scene will become available later.
“Emergency response and accident investigation teams are on the scene to assess the cause of the accident, to assess the losses suffered and to speedily restore operations to normal,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rössing Uranium mine spokesperson Botha Ellis in a statement said the incident was managed promptly according to set emergency procedures and practices by all relevant parties.
“Our team of experts was also on the scene to give support and assistance, ensuring that all was done in a safe manner. We are told that the rail will be repaired this week,” he added.
The Rössing Uranium mine, about five months ago experienced a snag after incurring damage from fire on its Final Product Recovery (FPR) plant.
On this week’s accident, Botha said, “the current incident does not impact our production as we have adequate amounts of sulphuric acid stored on site to continue with normal operations. Sulphuric acid is used in Rössing’s extraction process to produce uranium oxide.”
Rössing’s Uranium is made up of the following shareholders. The British-Australian mining conglomerate, Rio Tinto Group holds a 69%, the Iranian government 15% while the Namibian government holds 3%.

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