Uranium hunt attracts new player


Gib Mining Namibia (Pty) Ltd, the Australian based mining company intends to conduct exploration activities for uranium on Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) 9924 and EPL 10131 situated east of Swakopmund, and south of the existing Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine within the Namib Naukluft National Park in the Erongo Region.

The company announced that the exploration activities planned during phase one entail ground radiometric surveys, airborne radiometric, electromagnetic surveys and some grab sampling for geochemical analysis.

The company said after the targets have been delineated, and deemed worthy of follow up, ground-based surveys entailing drilling and rehabilitation of the disturbed areas are planned during phase two.

Prior to the commencement of the proposed exploration activities, environmental clearance is required from the Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA) of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, based on an approved environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.

Gib Mining announced that the application for two Environmental Clearance Certificates (ECCs) and a parallel EIA process has been registered on the EIA online portal of the ministry. The Office of the Mining Commissioner at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, who will review the application and relevant reports and submit their comments to the environment ministry.

Depending on the decision by the two ministries, the ECC will be issued to Gib Mining, who then is accountable for the implementation of an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for each of the two EPLs.

Namisun Environmental Projects and Development(Namisun) has been appointed by Gib Mining as the independent environmental assessment practitioner to undertake the EIA process for the proposed exploration activities and preparation of amongst others, the EIA scoping reports and EMPs.

Namisun announced that potential environmental issues associated with the proposed activities, taking into account that the EPLs are located within the include Namib Naukluft National Park like physical destruction and general disturbance of vegetation, fauna and sensitive habitats because of the ground-based exploration activities; disturbance of fauna as a result of airborne surveys. The other issues include management of waste generated from the exploration activities.

Furthermore, other issues are potential surface and groundwater contamination from hydrocarbon spillages during the execution of some exploration activities. Other possible negative factors include possible impact and losses of historical, archaeological, or paleontological resources.

Other possible negative factors include potential negative impacts on current land use activities, nuisance-related impacts created by noise, dust and visual disturbances; positive impacts relating to investment and job creation.

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