Rikus Grobler | Jun 20, 2017 | 0
No end in sight for Rössing’s water woes
It appears that there is no end in sight for Rössing’s water woes, with the miner this week telling the Economist that its attempts to get moving on its desalination plant project, are not moving, despite an appeal lodged with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Speaking to its Managing Director Werner Duvenhage, he explained that his office has not yet received word on its planned appeal. “We have not received a notification from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism for a date to hear the appeal. There are no new developments on this matter.”
Rössing held a stakeholder engagement towards the end of April and at the time, announced that it was hoping to get word on the success or rather, rejection of its planned desalination plant. Rössing has on various occasions stated that the water it was procuring from the Areva Desalination Plant, is prohibitively expensive.
Duvenhage in April told the Economist, “Like I have said to the 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.