Husab developments enter new stage
Swakop Uranium’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Zheng Keping said, “The commencement of mining operations at Husab are a momentous occasion for Swakop Uranium, and a milestone in the annals of the mining industry in Namibia and China.”
“Since the ground breaking ceremony on 18 April last year Swakop Uranium has made significant progress at Husab,” he added.
Keping stated that the 37 hectare-contractor village was almost complete and would become home to more than 4000 people at the peak of construction.
“The Husab contractors’ village is furnished with bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, recreation areas showers and ablutions, at a capital cost of over N$250 million, or an average cost of N$62,000 per resident. Our contractor village is a showcase for the country, comparing well with the standards of mining companies around the world,” he said
Keping pointed out that the infrastructure was being developed to provide the critical utilities for construction and operation. He said utilities like power lines, the permanent access road and reservoirs are now in place, and the permanent water pipeline construction was progressing well.
He then commented on the permanent road from the B2 transport route to the Husab Mine which had been recently opened.
“The road which we all drove on to get to site opened yesterday. I am sure you will agree that this is a spectacular drive. The 22km road is an asset which took 16 months to complete at a capital cost of N$180 million,” he beamed.
Meanwhile the first batch of 11 haul trucks, each with a load capacity of 330 tons, has been assembled and is ready for mining. He said that the remainder of the initial mining fleet, inclusive of rope and hydraulic shovels, drill rigs, and other ancillary mining equipment, had also been delivered to site.
“Bulk earthworks for the processing plant are almost completed, and structural civil construction has begun. Equipment installation will begin in the second half of this year. We are confident that by the end of next year, a brand new processing complex will stand ready at the Husab site,” he said.
With focus on the recruitment process Keping said, “continuous recruitment for operations will focus on a diverse local workforce. Special attention is given to the recruitment of females in a male dominated mining world. To date, the workforce of site contractors has grown to approximately 3000, of which nearly 90% are locals.” Keping identified one of the key milestones for Swakop Uranium saying it has taken an active leadership role in managing the complex employees relations climate by engaging the unions and contractors to follow Swakop Uranium values, thus operating as one team.
Keping expressed Swakop Uranium’s sincere gratitude to the Chinese government for its strong support to the Husab Project, and to their shareholders, CGN, CAD Fund, China Development Bank and Epangelo for their valuable guidance and assistance. “With China General Nuclear as a shareholder, the Husab Mine is fortunate to have a key market for our output,” he said.