The government's failure to deal with mining hazards is placing the lives of its poorest people at risk from large-scale toxic and radiological pollution, says a new report.
The government's failure to deal with mining hazards is placing the lives of its poorest people at risk from large-scale toxic and radiological pollution, says a new report.

SA firm to invest $1.8bn in Namibia

By Time of article published Apr 28, 2011

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Windhoek - South African-based Gecko company is to invest $1.8 billion to build three chemical acid plants and a harbour in Namibia to serve the uranium mining industry, the firm said Thursday.

“The three proposed chemical acid plants for sulphuric acid, soda ash and phosphoric acid will cover ,000 hectares in the central coastal area near Swakopmund,” 350 kilometres west of the capital Windhoek, said Philip Ellis, Gecko's managing director for Namibia.

“Total costs of the Gecko initiatives will be approximately 12 billion Namibian dollars ($1.8 billion, 1.2 billion euros),” Ellis added.

The proposed acid plant is to produce up to 1.2 million tons of acid a year by using approximately 400,000 tons of sulphur, which will be imported via the proposed new bulk terminal port.

“We also plan to develop a port to import and export bulk commodities with a jetty stretching approximately 2,500 metres, as the nearby Walvis Bay port would become congested when handling the volumes,” Ellis told reporters.

During the construction of the three acid plants and the harbour, 11,250 jobs will be created, according to the Gecko Namibia. Once the plants are operational, 2,470 people will be permanently employed.

Public hearings on the project begin May 10. Once the necessary approvals are obtained, construction is expected to last 24 months, the firm said.

Namibia currently has two uranium mines, Langer Heinrich of Paladin Resources and Rossing Uranium of Rio Tinto. - Sapa-AFP

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