Chinese company on the verge of starting to mine uranium in Namibia

Chinese firm close to start mining uranium in Namibia

China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp (CGNPC), the country’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, is getting ready to begin mining for uranium at its Husab mine, located in western-central Namibia.

According to African Review, the clean energy corporation intends to start processing the ore in February 2016, with operations slated to begin later this year.

CGNPC, which acquired the mine after taking control of Kalahari Minerals and Extract Resources, has spent over US$2bn in the project since work began in 2012, which makes it China’s largest investment in the African nation so far.

Once fully operational, Husab mine will have the potential to produce 15 million pounds of uranium oxide.

Once fully operational, Husab mine will have the potential to produce 15 million pounds of uranium oxide.

Canada’s Cameco Corp (TSX:CCO), the country’s biggest uranium producer, has been signalled in the past as potential buyer for offtake output from the project, located 8 kilometers (5 miles) south of Rio Tinto Group’s Z20 deposit in the Namib-Naukluft national park.

Uranium mineralization was first discovered in the Namibia’s Rossing Mountains, Namib Desert, in 1928 by Capt. G. Peter Louw. Uranium exploration official started in 1960s with Rio Tinto obtaining exploration rights for the Rössing deposit in 1966. It started production in 1976.

The Rössing mine is currently Namibia’s longest running and one of the world’s largest open pit uranium mines.

Image courtesy of Swakop Uranium.

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Henry Sapiecha

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