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Chinese-invested Husab uranium mine kicks off construction

2013-04-20 10:54 Xinhua     Web Editor: Wang YuXia comment

The construction of the Husab Uranium Mine, a joint venture between the Chinese and the Namibian governments, has started after the ground-breaking ceremony held on Thursday at the site situated about 60 km from the coastal city of Swakopmund.

The Chinese state-owned company Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) Uranium Resources Co. Ltd. and Epangelo Mining, a Namibian government-owned mining company, acquired the Husab Uranium Mine owned by Swakop Uranium from the Australian-listed company Extract Resources at a cost of 19 billion Namibian dollars (2.1 billion U. S. dollars).

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Namibia's Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali and Chairman of CGNPC He Yu, as well as the Chinese charge d'affaires, Li Yigang.

The construction, estimated to cost 1.2 billion Namibian dollars (130 million U. S. dollars), is expected to be done by next year with production targeted to start in late 2015.

Husab Uranium Mine is said to hold about 280 million tonnes of uranium ore that would take close to 20 years to mine.

The mine construction will create 2,000 permanent and 6,000 temporary jobs when the mine goes into full production.

In addition, the Husab mine is expected to boost the gross domestic product by 5 percent.

Minister Katali took the chance to urge foreign companies operating in Namibia to follow the southern African country's laws and regulations.

"By complying with the relevant laws and regulations at all stages will avoid damaging of the environment and our fragile eco- system," Katali said during the ceremony.

The Chinese charge d'affaires said the Husab mine would empower Namibia through job creation.

"Swakop Uranium great importance to its goal of localization in Namibia and is committed to create a fair and competitive bidding environment for technically capable vendors from both Namibia and abroad," Li said.

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