Reptile to apply for mining licence in 2012
Reptile Uranium said this week it expects to apply for a mining licence for its 100% owned Shiyela Iron Project, the only known commercially viable iron deposit in the country, sometime in the first half of next year.
Creg Cochran, MD of parent company, Deep Yellow said although there was still some outstanding issues that needed to be finalised, he was confident that Reptile Uranium will apply for a mining licence for the estimated N$2 billion iron project in the first half of 2012.
He said: “….we have some way to go before we will be in a position to make such an application (mining licence) as we first must complete our resource estimates (so that we know the size and quality of the two deposits we have drilled out to date) and a scoping study (so that we have an estimate of the capital and operating costs of the project as well as the time it will take to develop the mine).
“It is possible that we will be in a position to lodge the mining licence application sometime in the first half of next year.”
Reptile Uranium Namibia recently submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the Shiyela Iron Project to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Once operational, the project will initially produce 2 million tonnes per annum of a high quality, coarse grained magnetite expected to attract a premium price in the export market. Depending on the Walvis Bay port capacity, ongoing exploration success and overall market economics, the project could ultimately be expanded to around 7.5 million tonnes per annum of magnetite product.
Namibia is currently a net importer of raw iron ore, which is used at Rössing as a source of ferric in their processing plant.
Reptile says the Shiyela Iron would be capable of supplying the requirements of Rössing and that of any other consumer of imported iron saving the country on foreign exchange.
The construction phase of the proposed iron project is expected to create between 500 and 1000 jobs while about 150 permanent employment opportunities will exist at the mine.
At increased production levels, 300 employment opportunities will be created, and other additional jobs will be created in various sectors such as personal services, transport and equipment manufacturing.
Iron ore will be mined from one or more open pits with an ore to waste ratio of about 1:1. During the first stage of mining, the waste rock will be stockpiled on waste stockpiles and as a second open pit is developed, back filing of waste rock into the first pit will begin.
The Shiyela Iron project is contained within the environmentally sensitive Namib Naukluft Park, which is used primarily for tourism. However, mineral exploration, drilling campaigns and mining operations have already been undertaken either on or near the proposed project site. Four mining licences have so far been granted in the central Namib.
The company says recent estimates indicate that, when fully operational, direct and indirect taxes to the government will be in the order of N$370 million per year. In addition, about N$100 million will be spent on diesel fuel, N$216 million for a mining contractor, N$72 million for ore transportation and N$118 million on electricity.
“Purchases and acquired services in the Swakopmund/Walvis Bay regional area, associated with full operation, are estimated to be approximately N$20 million per year and in the rest of Namibia approaching N$10 million per year. During the construction phase of approximately 12 months, an estimated N$1.4 billion to N$2 billion will be spent on the project, of which at least 30% will be locally sourced.”