Dundee to shut down arsenic plant
During a two-day media, Zebra Kasete, the Vice-President and Managing director Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb (DPMT) Smelter announced to journalists touring the smelter that the company’s old arsenic plant will be closed as arsenic production represented a small portion of the company’s business and was producing low returns and will be replaced with a new sulpharic acid plant.
The tour included visiting sites funded by the Tsumeb Community Trust, to the upgraded smelter, the new acid plant and the waste disposal site. Kasete explained that the closing down of the old arsenic plant will not take place over night. “We have contractual obligations to our customers and key stakeholders including government,” he said.
DPMT intends to meet its contractual obligations to provide arsenic to the end of 2016 after which the closure plan will be implemented. The approximately 50 employees will be redeployed to other parts of the operation. “One of the most challenging issues we needed to address was improving air quality, polluted affected by SO2 emmisions for many years. The new state of the art acid plant cost N$ 2.6 billion is a state of the art and captures up to 95 per cent of the SO2 emissions that plagued Tsumeb since the smelter was established over 50 years ago. It has made a notable contribution to the improvement of the air quality in Tsumeb,” Kasete said
Kasete also informed the media that Dundee has commenced studies to expand the smelter operations and is looking to alternative solutions to waste disposal when the current site has reached its full capacity . “We want our complete focus to be on optimizing and expanding our core smelter operations. A facility like this one aside from employment and community development is actually the center for growth. We actually help other industries expand as well, The government has ventured in partnership with the railway project and purchased 6 locomotives,” he stated.
Furthermore, Kasete informed that Dundee is one of the biggest customers of NamPower with regard to their power usage. With regard to community investments Kasete explained that Dundee has made a conscious decision to support employees in terms of shelter, as the company buys, services and constructs houses for it’s employees that are disadvantaged.
The vice-president shared that 98 % of employees are Namibian, and 90% of management includes Namibian citizens. “Dundee is a member of the Chamber of Mines, we will be supporting the transformation process and government’s agenda with regards to frameworks such as NEEEF,” he said.