Marine phosphate mining company ready to work with government

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Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK – Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP), the company campaigning for the right to mine phosphate from the seabed off the Namibian coast, said they are ready to resume working constructively with government.

This follows a recent court verdict that concluded that the decision by Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, to set aside an environmental clearance certificate issued to NMP in 2016 was illegal. NMP is a locally registered company owned in part by billionaire Oman Mohammed Al Barwani through his company Mawarid Mining LLC (85 per cent) and local businessman Knowledge Katti through Havana Investments (15 per cent).In a media statement, NMP stated that on Friday May 11, 2018, the High Court of Namibia ruled that Shifeta’s decision to withdraw the clearance certificate issued to the company by Environmental Commissioner Teofilus Nghitila in September 2016, must be set aside.

“With this matter concluded, the company now welcomes the opportunity to resume working constructively with the Namibian government in order to take the project forward and to resolve any residual stakeholder concerns or mis-information regarding the project development, within the framework of the Namibian legislation and the conditions of the Environmental Clearance Certificate,” read the statement.

According to NMP, the company has to date invested some N$780 million in the project to support exploration as well as technical, economic and environmental studies. Further development of the project is anticipated to require an estimated capital investment of N$5.2 billion. NMP projects are claimed to yield government revenue of approximately N$728 million per year in tax and royalty payments. Over the 20 years projected lifespan of the project, the project could yield N$14.95 billion in revenue to government. NMP aims to mine phosphate, which is mostly used to make fertilisers, about 120 kilometres into the ocean, southwest of Walvis Bay.

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