Case Study

Uranium Mine Environmental Impact Assessment (Namibia)

Swakop Uranium is constructing what will become the second largest uranium mine in the world. The mine will have a life of at least 20 years and the potential to produce 6 800 tonnes uranium oxide per annum. The tailings storage facility comprises a fully lined facility with a concurrently constructed cover which extends over an area of more than 300Ha. The waste rock dumps will ultimately rise to a height of over 200m.

Location:

The Husab Mine is located to the south of Rio Tinto’s Rossing Uranium Mine in the Namib desert. The Spectacular Khan River gorge lies between the two mines.

Client:

Swakop Uranium owned by China General Nuclear Power Corporation & Epangelo Mining Company)

Sector:

Mining & Minerals

Project Objectives:

The teams objective was to assist Swakop Uranium to bring the mine into production by managing the complete permitting and design process.

Our Role

  • SLR prepared the environmental impact assessment across various stages and aspects of the development project including the linear infrastructure for roads, pipelines and power supply. This process included extensive stakeholder engagement
  • SLR initially carried out the design of the tailings storage facility and waste rock dumps including the development of design concepts to protect groundwater, fauna and flora, limit water losses and protect surface water and alluvial channels and create a facility that has an acceptable visual appearance long after mining is complete
  • SLR carried out a number of key trade off studies related to environmental impact assessment and selection and design of impact mitigation measures. These studies covered aspects such as air quality and dust emissions, groundwater impact mitigation and long term erosion protection of the TSF and waste rock dumps
  • SLR completed the detailed design of the tailings storage facility and are involved with the construction in a QA/QC role to ensure that the design specifications are adhered to