Namwater offered desalination plant
The Economist has established that Rössing Uranium has in the past offered Namwater its own completed bankable feasibility study for a desalination plant which it intended to build in response to escalating production costs, including water. This was revealed by its Managing Director, Werner Duvenhage, after delivering Rössing’s stakeholder report earlier this week.
Speaking to the Economist, Duvenhage said Rössing intended to build its own desalination plant as a result of the high cost of water it had to pay for procuring water from the Areva desalination plant. He added that Rössing further had no intention to own and operate the desalination plant.
“Like I have said to Government and Namwater, Rössing has got no burning ambition to own a desalination plant, we are a mining company. The only reason why we are pursuing this is because it is practically hundreds of millions [of dollars] that is going into water at the moment. We would just like to make it more affordable. We have offered Namwater the full bankable feasibility study. We said to Namwater, if they would like to use it, we would be quite happy to give it to them. We just want cheap affordable water.”
Duvenhage also added that Rössing would know by the end of the week if its appeal to the Ministry of Water, Agriculture and Forestry is successful. Rössing initially announced its planned desalination plant as early as November 2014 and has since seen its request disregarded by the water ministry.
Namwater, has for a far longer period planned its own desalination plant dating back to the mid-90s. The Economist has previously sent questions to Namwater without the slightest response. In light of Duvenhage’s claim, Namwater has yet again been contacted and again did not responded to any questions.
The miner also chastised bulk water supplier Namwater’s inability to construct its own desalination plant. Namwater’s first plans to build a plant date back as far as August 1996 when Bicon Namibia, Parkman Namibia and GKW Consult identified sea desalination as a viable alternative among its water supply options.
In 2007, Namwater’s Board of Directors approved plans for the construction of its own desalination plant, spurred on by the expected demand from existing and prospective mining projects. “In June 2007, Namwater obtained confirmation from the representatives of the Rössing and Langer Heinrich Mines, as well as the Valencia, Goanikontes, Ida Dome, Marenica and Tubas/Tumas uranium deposits, for offtake agreements.