06 Sep 2013 11:20
TSUMEB, 06 SEP (NAMPA) The construction work on a sulphuric acid manufacturing and processing plant for Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb was launched here on Thursday morning.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview on the same day, Dundee Precious Metals President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rick Howes said the plant will capture all toxic sulphuric dioxide emitted by the mine and convert it into a sulphuric acid, which is useful for cleaning and dissolving uranium ore.
He said agreements will be made with uranium mines such as Rössing Uranium so that those mines can have sulphuric acid produced at Dundee Precious Metals for their own activities.
Howes said the sulphuric acid will be safely transported in containers by rail from Tsumeb to the various mines if such agreements are reached.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali at the launch, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Government will remain committed to ensuring that the health, safety and well-being of employees and communities, as well the environment, take priority at all mining sites in the country.
He said Government will continue to create and maintain conducive environments for foreign investors to do business in the country, while at the same time seeing to it that their businesses operate within the laws and regulations of the country.
I wish you an accident-free and successful construction of this acid manufacturing and processing plant, trusting that it will be carried out within the planned timeline as directed by Government, he noted.
Dundee Precious Metals in October 2012 informed Pohamba of their plans to make a significant investment in a modern environmental control system at the mine, with the purpose of improving the methods it used to contain harmful emissions.
He said the construction of an acid processing plant is in line with Cabinet directives issued to the company in 2012.
The acid manufacturing and processing plant will be constructed at a cost of over N.dollars 2,3 billion by Outotec, a Finnish construction and engineering conglomerate.
It is expected to be completed in October 2014. Six-hundred construction jobs and 50 high-skilled jobs will be created in the process.
Pohamba said he is pleased to note that Dundee Precious Metals is committed to the protection and conservation of the environment and the health of the people living in the vicinity of the mine in Tsumeb.
This news agency spoke to the Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga, who was also present at the ground-breaking ceremony for Dundee Precious Metals sulphuric acid manufacturing and processing plant.
Herunga thanked all Tsumeb residents who approached Government with complaints about harmful substances which were allegedly being emitted at the mine.
He said Government appreciates the co-operation received from Dundee Precious Metals because once the sulphuric acid plant is completed there will be no pollution harming the air, underground water and plants.
The Swapo-Partys Oshikoto Regional Co-ordinator, Armas Amukwiyu, who was not happy with the mine as he also accused it of emitting toxic substances through its operations in 2010, was also present at the ground-breaking.
Speaking in an interview shortly after the ceremony, he said he is a vindicated man because Dundee Precious Metals had at first denied the accusations against it.
Today we are all happy to see our concerns being addressed as there will be an acid processing plant here to contain all harmful substances from the mine, said Amukwiyu.
He also indicated that Tsumeb residents and all Namibians can now look forward to working in a safe environment without fear of contracting skin diseases due to toxic emissions.