Tenova Bateman has been awarded, in joint venture (JV) with AMEC, a reimbursable contract for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) of a uranium metallurgical plant for Swakop Uranium’s Husab Project in Namibia. Swakop Uranium is a wholly-owned Namibian subsidiary of Taurus Minerals Ltd., an entity owned by China Guangong Nuclear Power Co. (CGNPC) Uranium Resources Co. Ltd. and the China-Africa Development Fund.
Situated in the Erongo region of western-central Namibia and seen as the most important uranium discovery of recent years, Husab is the largest granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia. Currently, it is also the third largest uranium-only deposit in the world. Swakop Uranium is developing and constructing the mine, with this deposit providing the potential to produce 15 million lb/y of uranium oxide (U3O8), which is more than the total current uranium production of Namibia. Elevating Namibia to the second rank on the world ladder of uranium producers, the Husab project is also set to become the third-largest uranium mine in the world.
Based on the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project, Husab is being developed as a low-risk, large-scale load-and-haul open-pit mine, feeding ore to a conventional agitated acid leach process plant, based on a proven flow sheet. The reserve estimation shows that Husab has a potential mine life of more than 20 years, with uranium reserves of at least 280 million metric tons.
Project construction will take approximately 34 months, with the mine expected to go into first production toward the end of 2015.