Client: Swakop Uranium
Scoping Report (Including Impacts Assessment) for the Proposed Changes to the Husab Mine and Linear Infrastructure: Proposed Heap Leach Process and Associated Activities and Retention of Construction Water Pipeline
Swakop Uranium holds the mining licence (ML) 171 and Environmental Clearance Certificates (ECCs) for the Husab Uranium Mine (and associated activities / infrastructure) and for its associated linear infrastructure. The two open pits and associated processing plant are situated in the northern most part of the Namib Naukluft National Park, approximately 50 km inland from Swakopmund.
Swakop Uranium undertook a pre-feasibility study in 2017 to investigate the possibility of subtracting uranium via a heap leach process from the low-grade run-of-mine that is currently being stockpiled. The pre-feasibility study conducted by SGS concluded that heap leaching may offer an attractive option to increase uranium production at the Husab Mine, as it would allow for expanded leaching capacity, without the need for additional milling capacity, or the costs associated with tank leaching, and could generate additional revenue. A full feasibility study, also conducted by SGS2 in 2020/1, refined the heap leach process further, and Swakop Uranium now wishes to develop the proposed heap leach circuit, which will be preceded by a pilot heap leach trial. This proposed heap leach circuit is the focus this scoping report and impact assessment.
In addition, Swakop Uranium also wishes to permanently retain the construction water pipeline laid down in 2012 for the temporary supply of water that was used during construction of the Husab Mine, and before the permanent water pipeline was commissioned.
Prior to the commencement of these proposed amendments, an EIA Amendment application must be submitted to the MEFT for a decision in terms of the Environmental Management Act, 7 of 2007. The amendment process included a screening phase, a scoping phase (including an assessment of impacts), and the updating of the current Husab Mine environmental management plan.
SLR Environmental Consulting (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd (SLR) has been appointed by Swakop Uranium as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner to undertake the EIA process.
The Scoping Report (Including Impacts Assessment) for the Proposed Changes to the Husab Mine and Linear Infrastructure is currently out for public review from 25 June 2021 until 23 July 2021. Interested and Affected Parties are encouraged to participate in the process by reviewing the Scoping Report (executive summary also available) and providing SLR with any additional comments or concerns regarding the proposed project. The full report and specialists appendices may be accessed here on the SLR website and a hard copy has been placed at the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund Public Libraries.