Husab anticipates bumper production in 2109

27 December 2018 | Business

Swakop Uranium (SU) plans to ramp up its production to 5 000 tonnes of uranium in 2019, a few short years since its first drum produced on 30 December 2016.

During October this year the company had reached its threshold drummed product target of 3 000 metric tons of uranium.

Percy McCallum, Husab's vice-president of human resources, said this production trend in December will set the company up to achieve

3 500 tons of uranium instead of

3 000 tons as planned, which is within the company's operating budget of N$7.1 billion.

He said the company did experience technical and operational challenges earlier in the year, which resulted in the lowest-ever uranium production of 41 tons during March.

McCullum said SU is moving to become a giant player in the Namibian economy.

The company now employs 1 650 permanent workers and 500 contractor employees, which makes it the biggest employer in the mining sector. The mine had to stop work for a week in January due to emulsion problems. In February and March NamWater was unable to provide the mine with water, which cost the company 26 days of production losses.

In April it achieved its budget drummed product in a single month for the first time in the year. In August it produced 559.2 tons of uranium.

Despite the company's goal of 'zero harm' to people and the environment, it reported three work-related injuries and one fatality, but noted that this year's performance on the safety score is a 40% improvement from 2017.

The company said its localisation rate was 96% for 2018 and said it has met proposed New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) targets in terms of Namibianisation of its workforce.

NEEEF, it must be pointed out, is still a work in progress as certain areas are under revision.



CATHERINE SASMAN

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