Barloworld Equipment, a division of the listed distribution group, has been awarded a contract worth more than $130 million (R1.1 billion) by Swakop Uranium for mining equipment for the greenfield Husab uranium project in Namibia.

The order has been placed with Barloworld Equipment’s extended mining product range (EMPR) business, which was formed to sell and support legacy Bucyrus products rebranded to Cat following Caterpillar’s acquisition of Bucyrus in 2011.

The contract represents the most significant EMPR transaction for Barloworld since its appointment as the dealer for the extended range of mining products in the middle of this year.

The Husab project, located about 50km to the east of Swakopmund and with a potential mine life of more than 20 years and at least 280 million tons in uranium reserves, is regarded as the most important uranium discovery of recent years and will elevate Namibia to the third-biggest uranium producer in the world.

First production at Husab is expected towards the end of 2015. Swakop Uranium is 90 percent owned by Taurus Minerals, a subsidiary of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding. A 10 percent stake in the firm was recently acquired by Namibia’s state-owned Epangelo Mining Company. – Roy Cokayne