By Staff Reporter
WINDHOEK – Craton Mining and Exploration is negotiating with NamPower for a power line to its proposed Omitiomire copper oxide mine project near Hochveld in the Khomas Region.
The mining company is adamant that it is possible that such a power supply could in future be used to augment the existing power supply and could also provide for other future development in the area.
The proposed mine, for which a mining licence was issued in September 2014, is located about 140 km northeast of Windhoek and once operational will be a modest-size operation focusing on the near surface oxidised copper ore.
According to Andre Genis, chief operating officer of Craton, the power line is needed as there is no bulk power in the area.
The intention is to build a 132 kV overhead power line, which will run in a northerly direction towards Omitiomire from a connection on the Auas-Gobabis power line.
In addition to the 70 km power line, electrical substations at both the T-off from the Auas-Gobabis power line and at the proposed Omitiomire mine will be required.
Genis says the power line route is still under negotiation by NamPower and that the selection of the final route is subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA), including public participation.
He added that Craton is also investigating the upgrading of the most suitable access road to the proposed mine.
“Good road conditions are a concern as much to Craton as to other road users. The intention is therefore to upgrade sections of the current most suitable access road to a standard that can better survive in the rainy season. Additionally, we are also considering a diversion of the M53 road around the mine, which will also require an environmental impact assessment.”
He emphasized that the existing road will not be obstructed until the local diversion has been completed.
According to Genis, it is unlikely that construction of the Omitiomire mine will start before the end of 2015.
“An appeal has been lodged against the environmental commissioner for the issuing of the environmental clearance certificate and the long-term access to the Omitiomire farm still needs to be finalised. We have made an offer to buy the farm and are still awaiting a response,” concluded Genis.