By Chrispin Inambao
Stringent security measures that, for decades, forbade the removal of scrap metal from a restricted diamond mining area to thwart gem thieves are being relaxed under a new agreement that will see scrap metal worth N$600 million being salvaged from MA1.
The scrap metal from tools of the mining trade namely bulldozers and rusting earthmoving truck metal shells have for seven decades lain forlorn, polluting a previously pristine landscape. They are scattered all over Mining Area 1 (MA1) the main diamond area.
The scrap disposal deal signed on Tuesday at a local hotel could see these metal shells giving a new lease of life to Namdeb whose diamond yield has been on rapid decline.
The dwindling alluvial diamond yield has unsettled the diamond mining company’s workforce which until recently has been pampered with hefty production bonuses.
Many previously disadvantaged Namibians will benefit from a multi-pronged deal whose main component is scrap disposal though it includes gas supply and even transportation.
Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi, the Managing Director of Namdeb, was signatory to the main agreement – the one of scrap disposal – while Clifford Barnett and local tycoon, John Akapandi Endjala, signed on behalf of SA Metal Namibia (Pty) Ltd (SAMN).
SAMN has as its shareholders SA Metal South Africa and the J&P Group each holding 50 percent of the shares. J&P Group is a local BEE outfit with interests in construction, facilities management and catering that transformed Akapandi from rags-to-riches.
Zaamwani-Kamwi explained that the scrap project will cut, compress and remove from MA1, over a three-year period, a colossal 150?