09 May 2014 11:00am
HUSAB MINE, 09 MAY (NAMPA) President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday commissioned the commencement of operations at the new Husab Uranium Mine, situated 22 kilometres south of Arandis in the Erongo Region.
This project is indeed significant as it makes Namibia one of the biggest uranium-producing countries in the world.
It is rated as the second-largest uranium mine in the world, and I am informed that this mine will contribute about six per cent to Namibias Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Head of State noted.
The mine is owned by Taurus Minerals Limited (Ltd) with 90 per cent shares, and the Namibian government-owned Epangelo Mining has 10 per cent shares.
Taurus Minerals is an entity owned by China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) Uranium Resources and the China-Africa Development Fund.
To date, 3 000 temporary and permanent workers were employed at the mine.
This number is expected to reach 8 000 as the project approaches its highest peak of production.
Later, 2 000 direct jobs will be sustained by the mine on a permanent basis.
The development and opening of this mine demonstrates that Namibia continues to be an attractive destination for foreign direct investment.
This has been made possible by the political stability in our country, and the macro-economic policies adopted and pursued by our government, said the president.
Diverting from his written speech, Pohamba noted that the relationship between the Peoples Republic of China and Namibia started way back before Namibias independence.
The Chinese helped us when we were fighting for independence. They gave us some weapons to fight and defeat the South African colonial oppressors. We are happy with the relationship, and I want them to continue helping us, he said.
The president further stated that his government supports and welcomes such investments as they contribute to the achievement of the countrys national objectives, such as the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, expanding job-creation and facilitating the transfer of skills to workers.
I have no doubt that thousands of workers who have been employed during the construction of the mine have acquired valuable experiences and skills, which they will continue to use in future, he added.
Pohamba said there is no doubt that through hard work, this mine will deliver consistent, competitive and profitable growth and prosperity for Namibia, and indeed for the investors.
We look forward to the day when the Husab Mine will produce its first tonnes of uranium oxide, he said.