Tantalum mining to commence next year

Martin Endjala

Swanson Tantalum Mining production is set to commence with mining operations between October and November 2024.

With a feasibility study already completed and a final investment of USD7 million in finance already secured together with all necessary permits the company is ready to start production.

Acadia Minerals Chief Executive Officer Philip Le Roux explained that a large number of well-mineralised pegmatites are also present on the property and the potential of the occurrences is highlighted by extensive, small-scale mining activities where tantalum, beryl and spodumene were extracted from the pegmatites.

He was speaking at the 2023 Mining Expo in Windhoek this week.

Le Roux stated that the total construction cost is estimated at N$192 million, with 0ver 200 job opportunities to be created, of which the data registration collection is set to kick off in six months’ time in the //Kharas region.

The project is being carried out by the Orange River Pegmatite (Pty) Ltd a Namibian registered company and owner of an Exclusive Prospecting Licence located in the //Kharas Region, some 15 kilometres north of the Orange River.

The company has so far spent over N$ 70 million on explorations and there are over 220 pegmatites open for exploration in EPL.

Le Roux announced that existing test-work results indicate that the average grade of 15 pegmatites is around 420 Parts Per Million which is considered a high grade by global standards, and five additional pegmatite swarms remain in the area that are yet to be explored. In terms of beneficiation of the community, Le Roux said that recruitment will cater for each family while highlighting concerns of the high rate of drug abuse in the region.

“Every person who wishes to work for the company, must be drug-free, and this is our concern in the region, hence, recruitments will require one to be clean. So they have six months before we commence to clean up if they want a job,” said the CEO.

He, however, assured that the community residing in the region will be first prioritised and will only go outside should they not meet the requirements, while adding that they are looking to train people from scratch because training someone with little knowledge of something has proven to be beneficial to the company and people often do it with passion and care which saves the company money.

“The life expectancy of the mine is nine years, however, explorations conducted so far have shown that there is a possibility for it to be extended.

Fleets are expected to arrive by the end of this year,” he said.

The mine has partnered with Namwater and NamPower for the supply of water and electricity.

“Arcadia Minerals is an Australian Company diversified explorer seeking mainly battery metals, the company’s flagship asset looks to be its advanced Swanson Tantalum project, its battery metals portfolio is made up of the Kum-Kum Nickel Project, the Bitterwasser Lithium in Brines and Lithium in Clays Project and the Karibib Copper Project,” explained Le Roux.

The Namibian Government is estimated to make a profit of up to 50 percent in loyalties and tax from the company’s turnarounds, with capital expenditures set at 14.79 million Australian Dollars.

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