New Uranium Mine Almost There

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine in the Erongo Region will be receiving its first consignment of water within the next 24 hours for its second phase towards becoming operational. Confirming the latest development to New Era yesterday, the Corporate Communications Manager of NamWater, John Shigwedha, said that that as soon as the three main onsite reservoirs fill up to capacity, the bulk water would be supplied to the uranium mine. “As soon as the reservoirs are filled up to capacity, that of 7 500 cubic meters of water, then water will be provided to the mine as it will at first need 1 800 cubic meters to check out its systems,” explained Shigwedha. The new mine will be using about 1,5-million cubic meters of water per annum. NamWater is optimistic that it would be able to sufficiently meet this demand once production gets under way. The water for this mine, plus two others, mainly derives from the 60 boreholes in the Kuiseb River and 50 boreholes in the Omaruru Delta Dam, or Omdel in short. Meanwhile, the latest development with regard to the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine is that Australia’s Paladin Resources Limited plans to commission the uranium plant in the country a month earlier that was originally anticipated. Initially the construction schedule announced in May last year stated that commissioning would commence during September this year and project completion handover from GRD Minproc, the EPCM contractors, was planned to occur late December this year. Announcing the latest developments on its website, Managing Director of Paladin Resources Limited, John Borshoff, said yesterday that the crusher and associated conveyors to produce a crushed ore stockpile has been commissioned. “Staged commissioning will now progressively continue through the scrubber and attrition, leach and CCD, the uranium precipitation and reagent areas,” explained Borshoff. He elaborated that the on-site high voltage substation and transformers were commissioned and energised early this month and water is now flowing along the 85-kilometre pipeline from the coast to fill onsite reservoirs. “The contract miner is established on site and has started mining the initial pit undertaking topsoil removal and supplying feed for the crusher commissioning while establishing the mine infrastructure,” added Borshoff. Furthermore, a skilled operational team has been recruited with the necessary business systems and operating processes in place already. It is further reported that the first contracted shipment of uranium oxide concentrate is expected to be shipped in the first quarter of 2007. It is expected to produce 2,6-million pounds of U308 a year over the next 17 years. The Langer Heinrich uranium project is worth an estimated US$92-million and is located some 80 kilometres east of Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region.