Namibia boosts its ura­nium

Cape Argus - - WORLD -

WINDHOEK: Nam­bia, one of the largest ex­porters of non-fuel min­er­als in Africa, is po­si­tion­ing it­self to be the top­most pro­ducer of ura­nium in the world in the com­ing weeks.

The coun­try is rated as among the six big­gest pro­duc­ers (placed be­tween fourth and six) glob­ally but its po­si­tion is set to im­prove when full pro­duc­tion at its lat­est mine re­sumes.

The Husab Mine, also known as the Husab Ura­nium Project, is un­der de­vel­op­ment near Swakop­mund in the Erongo re­gion of western-cen­tral Namibia.

It is con­sid­ered the third-largest ura­nium-only de­posit in the world.

“In a few weeks, we will im­prove our po­si­tion glob­ally from fourth,” said Tjekero Tweya, Namibia’s Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy (ICT). He was speak­ing in Cape Town at the just-ended ICT Africa 2017.

“If the lat­est ura­nium mine starts pro­duc­tion, we will take the third po­si­tion and pos­si­bly sec­ond-big­gest ura­nium pro­ducer in the world.”

The mine is set to pro­duce up to 6 800 tons of ura­nium a year. Out­put will be grad­u­ally in­creased to reach the in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 50 mil­lion tons of ore a year. Tweya said tech­nol­ogy would be key in Namibia’s ura­nium tar­gets. Namibia pro­duces 10% of the world’s ura­nium, with an­nual pro­duc­tion at over 3 654 tons.

Ross­ing, also lo­cated in Erongo, is the sixth-largest ura­nium pro­duc­ing mine and one of the old­est in the world.

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