Okanjande graphite project seeks EIA approval
Following the completion of its environmental impact assessment report, Gecko Mining should by the end of the year gain approval to carry out a feasibility study on its Okanjande graphite project situated 14 kilometres east of Otjiwarongo. Enviro Dynamics submitted an application to the Directorate of Environmental Affairs in November 2013, paving the way for Namibia’s second graphite project. The Aukam mining project which ceased operations in 1974 was the first and only graphite mine in Namibia.
The Okanjande deposit was discovered by Rössing Uranium Limited in 1990. A number of detailed studies were carried out between 1991, and 1993 pertaining to the project and included a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment. Gecko obtained the rights through a mining claim on 30 October 2012, and further obtained mineral exploration rights through an exclusive prospecting license on 6 August 2013 according to Enviro Dynamics.
Gecko will implement a staged approach to its graphite project, with construction expected to commence in 2015 pending environmental clearance. Construction is expected to run for 14 months. The open pit mine which has the potential to reach a depth of 85 metres will consist of a processing plant, tailings storage facilities, and a crusher amongst others. Mulling over transportation routes, Gecko will use the road link to Otjiwarongo or a direct link to Windhoek and or railway access.
Gecko anticipates mining approximately 420,143 tons of graphite annually. Work done by Rössing Uranium in the 90s has indicated that the potential life of mine is in excess of 70 years. The deposit contains 34 million tons of graphite ore.