Windhoek, Namibia — 27 May 2013 – Chamber of Mines of Namibia president Mark Dawe says that 2012 was one of the worst years for the country’s mining industry, with the highest recorded number of fatalities since independence. The industry suffered five fatalities during 2012.
allAfrica.com reports that, addressing the annual general meeting of the Chamber, he said that it had responded to these accidents by recruiting an internationally recognised mining expert to review the state of health and safety in the entire mining industry, and to make appropriate recommendations.
“The consultant was also tasked to carry out an international benchmarking exercise, to compare safety standards in the Namibian mining industry with leading mining countries around the world,” Dawe revealed. “I am pleased to announce that this exercise was successfully undertaken and most of the mines in Namibia were visited by the consultant and the Chamber’s own safety expert, Werner Ewald. They have presented the main report to the Chamber, and mine specific reports were submitted to individual mines that were covered in the review,” he added.
Dawe pointed out that the effects of the Fukushima tragedy in Japan were still being hard-felt by the uranium industry, with the price hitting a two year low of US$41.50/lb in November 2012.
“Of course, this has had a negative impact on uranium mining operations in Namibia, causing mining companies to trim costs and defer capital projects. Investment decisions have been put on hold pending a recovery of the market,” Dawe declared.
International markets for uranium continued to be depressed with spot prices below US$50/lb for the second half of the year, placing enormous operational pressures on the uranium sector.
He also pointed out that although the Namibian policy on strategic minerals was announced two years ago, there has been no legislation passed to date for its implementation.
Caption, Pic 1: Rossing uranium mine “’ one of the main uranium operations in Namibia.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.