05 Mar 2015 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 05 MAR (NAMPA) - The Areva Erongo desalination plant will soon be handed over to the government through the national water utility, NamWater, says Chamber of Mines' Chief Executive Officer Veston Malango.
He made the announcement here on Thursday during a media briefing about the upcoming annual Mining Expo and Conference set to take place on 20 and 21 May 2015 under the theme Mining industry: a catalyst for vision 2030.
Malango said water supply is one of the challenges facing the mining industry, and most uranium mines get water from that plant.
The desalination plant is the largest of its kind in southern Africa, and is located at Wlotzkasbaken, some 30kilometres from Swakopmund.
It was inaugurated in 2010 to supply potable water to the Trekkopje uranium mine.
In 2013, the company signed a contract with NamWater for the distribution of water to three uranium mines in the Erongo Region - Rio Tinto's Rössing, Paladin Energy's Langer Heinrich and Swakop Uranium's Husab mines.
Malango said another challenge facing the industry is the uncertainty of power because of the constraint generation capacity of the mining industry.
Power supply is one of the biggest challenges to the mining industry in Africa, and Namibia is no exception, he said.
Namibia is importing about 50 per cent of power from neighbouring countries, including Eskom from South Africa.
Malango, however, said these challenges will be discussed during the mining conference to find ways to address those issues.
He explained that the main objective of the mining expo and conference is to present the industry to its stakeholders; and give an opportunity to students to peruse careers in mining and solicit for bursaries.
The chief said over 150 exhibitors are expected to showcase their services and more than 500 people are expected to participate.
He said the number of participants for the conference were 230 in 2012, 250 in 2013, and 550 in 2014.
Meanwhile, the chamber is celebrating 46 years of existence in 2015 and has a membership of 112 companies.