Dundee Precious Metals commissions first-of-its-kind waste management facility

Martin Endjala

Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb smelter has announced the commissioning of its unique general waste management facility in the Oshikoto region that was acquired at a cost of N$15 million.

This project, the first of its kind in the region, will focus on segregating and sorting waste at the source to minimize waste to landfill.

This was confirmed yesterday by Dundee’s Vice President and Managing Director, Zebra Kasete, in Tsumeb. Kasete stated that the investment demonstrates Dundee’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen and steward of the environment.

The Integrated Waste Management Facility comprises several key components, including an administration office block, a recyclable processing facility equipped with a baling machine and storage compartment, an interim storage facility for waste destined for onsite treatment or offsite disposal, a bioremediation pad for blending and treatment of soil, a disposal cell, a water management system, and a vehicle wash bay.

Timoteus Mufeti, Environmental Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, acknowledged Dundee’s leadership in integrated waste management in the region.

He emphasized that the facility sets a new standard for environmentally conscious waste management practices and expressed the hope that other organizations, especially within the mining industry, would follow suit.

“By embracing integrated waste management practices, we not only protect our environment but also contribute to the well-being of our communities. It is our responsibility to ensure that our actions today do not compromise the future of our planet,” Mufeti stated.

The facility has received approval from the Environmental Commissioner of Namibia and was designed and constructed as per South African Standards.

It is classified as a Class B Landfill. Landfill management systems are categorized based on the risk associated with the waste being disposed of; Class A is for high-risk waste, Class B is for moderate-risk waste, and Class C and Class D are for low-risk and inert waste, respectively.

The design and operational philosophy of the facility aligns with the principles of integrated waste management and waste management hierarchy, with a strong emphasis on encouraging waste segregation and sorting at the source to reduce waste sent to the landfill.

Mufeti explained that this is aimed at diverting waste from landfills to utilization where possible. Waste collected for recycling includes cartons, paper, cans, glass bottles, plastic containers, and plastic bags. Ultimately, only biodegradable general or domestic waste will be landfilled at the facility.

Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb (Pty) Limited, located 430 kilometres north of the capital city of Windhoek in Tsumeb, was constructed in 1963. It is one of only a few facilities in the world capable of treating complex copper concentrates.

The company is reportedly one of the largest employers in the Oshikoto region, with an estimated workforce of 600 employees.

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