AREVA makes investment history in Namibia

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A French state owned energy company, AREVA announced this week that it is injecting a whooping US$750 million into a uranium mine in Namibia.

This will make Namibia home to the worlds largest uranium mine. Reports say the mine is located in Trekkopje in the Erongo Region.

It will surpass the N$3,2 billion investment made in Skorpion Zinc, making it the largest foreign direct investment in the history of Namibia, it is said.

Iain McPherson, Managing Director of UraMin Namibia, a subsidiary of Areva, made the investment announcement in Windhoek when introducing the company to the media.

He said about N$1,4 billion of the total investment will go towards a desalination plant at the coast – near Wlotzkasbaken – which is already under construction.

The investment figure includes the rehabilitation of the area after
mining ceases.

He said, “Mining will start at the end of 2009 and the shallow deposits cover a large area.

We expect to process 100 000 tonnes of ore per day and to extract about six to eight million pounds of uranium per annum,” McPherson is quoted as saying.

Approximately 800 people will be employed by the mine, which has a projected lifespan of nine years.

Areva, which says it is the world’s second largest uranium producer,
bought UraMin for US$1,9 billion (about N$14 billion) in September.

The buy-out was part of a composite deal totalling US$12 billion (about N$85 billion) with state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power
Corporation (CGNPC).

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