Sandwiched between the outstretched Otavi Mountains in the vast Otjozondjupa Region in the northeast of Namibia, the stinking-rich copper mining enclave of Kombat is a well-designed modern town in the much-adored Maize Triangle between Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumeb.
Kombat Copper Mine boasts an 800-meter exploration shaft constructed at a cost of N$300 million, which ranks among the mine’s most important assets. The shaft was sunk to provide underground access to the Asis Far West (AFW) area, which intersects the ore-body, as it extends down dip and to the west of the historic Kombat Mine works.
This small town was previously known solely for producing copper ore in large quantities, but there is another astonishing and untold legend associated with this sleeping giant.
Kombat is believed to boast the largest underground lake in the entire world. It is blessed with an abundance of pristine water resources second to none, while many parts of our fairly semi-desert landscape are battling to access readily available water for basic needs.
History reveals that the now defunct Kombat mine used to be one of the most productive copper mines in Namibia with a historic production of 12.46 million tonnes of copper at an average grade of 2.62% plus silver and lead.
The revered mine opened in 1962 until operations were interrupted in 2008. Kombat Mine still has vital existing infrastructure that includes water, roads and electricity, as well as access to rail.
Strong underground water streams started to cause havoc in recent times, causing alarming interference with mining processes, ultimately leading to the closure of operations.
Back in the day, unlike with other towns that were under the administration of municipalities under the jurisdiction of government – Kombat was placed under the private administration of the mine owners.
Mine owners were solely at the helm of administering and providing basic needs, such as housing, transport, medical services while providing state-of-the-art recreational facilities.
Kombat used to also be well represented in many sporting disciplines and fielded strong teams in the rugby, football and netball disciplines, who competed regularly in the popular and highly competitive annual Chamber of Mines Multi-Sports Games.
The modern town is also home to thousands of residents from adjacent farms and settlements, who steadily flocked to the town, seeking medical treatment and other basic necessities.
In April this year, local business mogul Knowledge Katti put his money where his mouth is when he surprised friend and foe alike by purchasing the town from Grove Mining through Manilla Investments, in which Katti Investments owns shares.