Namibian mining company explores construction of power line to copper mine

powerline-kenmainr-flickr1The construction of a power line to the copper mine is subject to an environmental impact assessment. (Image source: Kenmainr/Flickr) Namibia’s Craton Mining & Exploration is negotiating with national power utility NamPower to set up a power line to the Omitiomore copper oxide mine project

The power line route is under negotiation by NamPower and the final selection is subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA), including a public participation process, said Andre Genis, CEO of Craton Mining & Exploration.

The mine is located about 140 km from the Namibian capital Windhoek, near Hochveld in the Khomas region and would be a modestly-sized operation focusing on the near-surface oxidised copper ore, stated project officials. The company plans to mine the oxidised copper resource to a depth of 50 metres. The three pits to be mined, would feed a 40,000 tonne per month ore processing plant. The mine will produce 25,570 tonnes of copper over a mining life of about seven years.

According to Genis, a direct power line is required as there is no bulk power in the area. A 132kV overhead power line, starting from a turn-off on the Ausu-Gobabis power line to Omitiomire, would be built. The 70 km-long power line would also require electrical sub-stations, added project officials.

In addition to laying a power line, the Namibian mining company is also reviewing the upgrade of a road leading to the mine, as suitable road conditions would improve access to the mine during monsoons.

Genis said that construction of the mine would start by the end of 2015, and Craton Mining & Exploration has lodged an appeal with the country’s environment commissioner for a clearance certificate.

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