PektraNam's environmental report out
30 April 2019 | Environment
Consultants for Petranam, Geo Pollution Technologies, said all written comments submitted by 10 May would be included in the final submission to be made to the environment ministry.
A resident who has done a cursory reading of the 164-page document, Crispin Clay of the Lüderitz Foundation, said the report is a “brilliant” piece of work.
“They have done their homework; that is what we expect from TradePort [the other South African company intending to trans-ship manganese],” Clay said yesterday.
Nevertheless, Clay still has reservations about the entire operation: “Why should Lüderitz be a conduit, a pipeline for raw stuff from South Africa? What will the carbon footprint of this be?”
Lüderitz residents were up in arms when TradePort Namibia arrived at the coastal town in late December to offload manganese ore without proper documentation.
TradePort had to remove the manganese ore from the open concrete slab where it had first dropped it. It has since stored it at NamPort's warehouse facilities at the harbour.
Residents expressed concern over the anticipated huge influx of traffic and possible toxic pollution.
They petitioned for an immediate moratorium on all movement of manganese ore to and from Lüderitz harbour until sufficient environmental research had been done.
The environment ministry issued TradePort an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) for the “importing and exporting of manganese ore and other commodities” on 7 February.
Pektranam plans to transport, handle and temporarily bulk-store 30 000 tonnes of manganese ore per month at an abandoned storage yard of the Roads Construction Company (RCC).
The manganese is mined in the Kalahari Manganese Field in the Northern Cape and is currently exported through South Africa's Port Elizabeth and Saldanha Bay harbours.
Pektranam wants to switch to the port of Lüderitz because of problems with road transport to the two congested harbours in South Africa.
After public consultations with Lüderitz residents Pektranam said it became clear that it had to change its transport methods to reduce environmental damage and adverse impacts on the town's tourism and historic buildings.
It has been calculated that it would take 833 truckloads per month to transport the 30 000 tonnes of ore to the storage yard.
From there, Petranam intends to use 12 trucks with air suspension instead of conventional suspension to move the ore to the harbour. The aim is to reduce the volume of traffic and the noise the trucks would generate.
It would take three full days to load the ore onto a ship. Pektranam says it plans to use bags or skips which would be lifted by crane into the ship's cargo hold.
It says about 12 people would be directly employed if the operation is approved.