Lev Leviev’s mining group Sakawe Mining Corporation (Samicor), which owns the licence to mine phosphate offshore in Lüderitz Bay through Lev Leviev Namibia Phosphates, yesterday met with the town community to explain the status of the N$9.94 billion mining venture, which has been put on ice because of a cabinet moratorium on phosphate mining.
The managing director of Lev Leviev’s Namibia Phosphates (LLNP), Kombadayedu Kapwanga, said “the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources together with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is conducting scientific research on the negative and positive impact of mining phosphate in the sea.”
Kapwanga said they are aware of the many opinions and media reports on the negative impact of marine phosphate mining, especially with the estimated damage to the fish and environment. Hence the decision for LLNP to conduct pilot tests.
Government has given LLNP the green light to continue with testing the impact of mining phosphate rocks in Lüderitz Bay.
However, they are waiting for the outcome of the evaluation on the environment and also the scientific findings by the government.
It is the outcome of these studies that would dictate the direction to be taken, says Kapwanga.
Leviev’s Group owns 76 percent of Samicor, which in turn owns all of LLNP. The phosphate deposits are about 170 kilometres northwest off the shore of Lüderitz Bay.
Mining production was supposed to start in 2018. Once in operation the mining venture is projected to process two million tons of phosphate rock annually, which could be up to two billion tons. Kapwanga said the mining venture would create about 2 000 jobs, and promised there will be better clinics and schools in Nami#nus Constituency as well as the entire //Kharas Region.
In attendance was the //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson as well as Nami#nus Constituency Councilor Jan Scholtz.