Gold output below budget
Navachab Gold Mine, the country’s only producing gold mine which was sold to a UK-based private mining group, QKR, for US$110 million earlier this year, recorded a considerable plunge in gold production for 2013. The production from the open pit mine that produces gold bullion which is refined for onward sales at the Rand Refinery in South Africa recorded a noticeable drop as revealed by the Chamber of Mines Annual Review for 2013. In 2013 Navachab mine produced 1,795 kilograms of gold, which was 21.9% lower than the initial budget. This was the first year since 1998, when 1,855 kg were produced, that Navachab produced less than 2000 kg gold. According to the Annual Review, the drop in output was a result of technical problems experienced with mining a new ore body, which resulted in a lower ore grades and recoveries. A total of 18.8 million tonnes of ore was mined against a budget of 22.7 million tonnes. Exploration activities during last year at the mine focused on increasing the resources base, covering both brownfield and greenfield projects. Brownfield exploration at Anomaly 16 concentrated on the steepened western limb of the Usakos dome structure, drilling a total of 1,041 meters. Furthermore 2,017 metres of drilling was completed on the closing gaps in the fold closure area of the Usakos dome. Greenfield exploration was carried out on the Okahandja EPL’s (EPL 3971 and 3972), completing RC drilling of 2,347 metres and soil geochemistry sampling.
The latest life of mine is estimated at 2024 despite last year’s drop. Meanwhile the Namibian Competition Commission has announced that the deal to sell AngloGold Ashanti Namibia, Navachab’s owner, to a subsidiary of QKR Corporation Limited, has been approved.