More articles in this category
Top Stories

Public enterprises minister Leone Jooste wants the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Funds board, and the Chief Executive Officer dismissed. ...

Consumer activist and writer Milton Shaanika Louw has decried high consumer lending levels as unsustainable warning that this may see lower intere...

Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen has said the company’s flagship home grown barley project is we...

Twenty-eight pedestrians were fatally injured on the Western Bypass road between the periods of 2014 to 2016, and this ?gure excludes fatalities i...

Power Africa plans to triple its goal of 10 000 MW and 20 million connections in few Sub-Saharan African countries to 30 000 MW and 60 million con...

Despite an improved rebound in commodity prices, Uranium remains subdued, and Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) Director Klaus Schade has said...

Other Articles from The Villager

Israel's LGC targets Namibian phosphate mine by 2018

Wed, 26 March 2014 16:08
by
News Flash

Israel's Leviev Group (LGC) aims by 2018 to start mining fertiliser material phosphate off Namibia's coast after addressing concerns that led the country last year to announce an 18-month freeze on new environment permits for marine mines.

Deep-sea mining has attracted growing interest as technology has opened up new resources that could replace depleted land mines. But projects have stirred debate about environmental risks in the southwest African country and elsewhere.

LGC hopes a demonstration processing plant it plans to launch this year at the port of Luderitz will address such concerns and allow full-scale construction work to proceed so production can start in 2017 or 2018, Erez Mishal, vice president, business development and operations, said on Tuesday.

"This will help us to obtain the licence," he said on the sidelines of the CRU Phosphates 2014 conference.

LGC, which has gold and diamond mines and previously extracted diamonds from the seabed off Namibia in partnership with De Beers, estimates it can mine about two million tonnes of phosphate rock a year at a depth of up to 300 metres below the sea in a deposit it evaluates at two billion tonnes.

After a self-financed US$20m investment in the preliminary stages, it would like to find an industry partner for the full development that would require a US$800m investment, Mishal said following a presentation.

Phosphate is one of three major crop nutrients, along with potash and nitrogen.

LGC is touting the project, which is being developed by its subsidiary LL Namibia Phosphates, as offering the lowest phosphate rock production costs in the world at a projected US$16.61 a tonne, supported by an acid-based processing technique that reduces the need to remove impurities first from the rock.

This would be about half the US$33 a tonne reported by Mosaic , the world's biggest maker of finished phosphate products, as its average phosphate rock mining cost last year.

There has been debate in recent years about the approach of so-called peak phosphate supply, after which output will decline, but LGC and technical partner EcoPhos say their process allows the use of low-grade rock that was not feasible before.

"We speak a lot about peak phosphates but it's the peak of high-grade phosphates," Yannick Vancoppenolle, process and product marketing manager at EcoPhos, said.-Reuters