The official start of mining operations at the Husab project in Namibia has begun. Husab becomes the fourth uranium mine in operation in Namibia, the others being Rössing, Langer Heinrich and Trekkopje. China National Nuclear Corporation holds a 25% stake in Paladin’s Langer Heinrich mine, entitling it to a corresponding share of the project’s output.
The first blasting of rock took place earlier this year. Construction of the mine is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, with production then planned to ramp up to 5770 tonnes of uranium per year by 2017.
The operation will be an open pit mine with an acid leach process plant on site. The Husab ore-body is claimed to be the third largest uranium-only deposit in the world. With measured and indicated reserves of about 140,000 tonnes U, Husab is expected to operate for at least 20 years. The mine will comprise of two pits: the Zone 1 pit will be some 3km long, 1km wide and 412m deep; the Zone 2 pit will be about 2km long, 1.3 km wide and 377m deep.
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