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Rössing eyes longrange conveyors

The RopeCon Conveyor system crossing the Nile in Sudan.

The RopeCon Conveyor system crossing the Nile in Sudan.

Namibia may become home to the most advanced conveyor technology if the proposed Z20 expansion of Rössing Uranium Limited receives the green light. The proposed new Z20 pit lies across the Khan River to the south of the current mining operations.
After successful exploration, Rössing is now considering mining the Z20 area which falls within Rössing’s mining license area. In order to access the Z20 ore body, an infrastructure corridor would need to be established linking the Z20 site to the existing Rössing mine. The infrastructure corridor would facilitate the transport of crushed ore to the processing facilities across the Khan River at the existing Rössing mine.
At this stage the preferred option to transport the ore from the Z20 site to Rössing’s facilities is an overland cable conveyor system. The RopeCon system was the preferred choice above trucking by road, or conveying through a tunnel or pumping ore slurry. The RopeCon system is energy efficient, does not create disturbing noise, contains the material better than other transport systems and can be run at low cost.
Explaining the unique technology and design for the proposed mining of the Z20 uranium deposit , Hermann Frühstück of Doppelmayr Transport Technology in Germany said the conveyor will run at a speed of 4,64m/s (16.74km/h) and have the capacity to carry 2250t/hour. Unique features of the design for this project is that the conveying system will be tailor made for the rugged terrain. It will have a small environmental foot print with only 33 towers to support the 13 km overland conveyor system. It has low noise levels and is enclosed to prevent ore from falling off.
Construction will be done by cranes and helicopters. Regular inspections will ensure the safe and efficient operation of the system.  A Maintenance Manual supplied by Doppelmayr will guarantee, together with trained local operators, the system’s efficiency.
Besides the conveyor crossing the Khan River, the Z20 ore body is also lying near to the Welwitschia Plains. In response to questions regarding the increased visibility from lookout points due to the elevated nature of the design, Frühstück indicated that the dimensions of the conveyer are 1m x 2m and that it will be possible to be constructed in colours which blend into the surrounding area. He added that 60% of Aerial Ropeways of a similar design are erected and located within National Parks.
Currently the longest RopeCon Conveyer is built in Argentina which is 8, 5 km long. Adding to the design is Doppelmayr’s expertise in conditions similar to the Khan River location. RopeCon built a system in Sudan where the Nile is crossed under similar desert conditions, and with high wind speeds. Explaining the challenges of this specific project, Frühstück said this projects is not extraordinary to them. “There are no challenges; this is a normal business for Doppelmayr to install equipment in difficult terrain and weather conditions.”
Public  and focus groups attending the meetings on 23 and 24 October as part of Rössing’s Social and Environmental Impact Assessment were also informed that a 14 km road would have to be constructed if the project gets all clearances and is found to be economically viable. The road from the Rössing mine site would follow existing tracks and cross the Kahn River where a bridge would be constructed to allow mine traffic to travel to the Z20 mine site. A water pipeline and an overhead electricity line are also to be constructed along the road.
The purpose of the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) process is to identify and evaluate feasibility alternatives and potential impacts, and to identify potential measures to avoid or reduce negative impact and enhance positive impact if the project is cleared.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.