By Frederick Philander ARANDIS The extension of its life span and the expansion of RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing Mine reaffirms its position as a global player in the production of uranium for the generation of electricity. This was said on Saturday by Samuel Nuuyoma, the governor of the Erongo Region, as the keynote speaker at the occasion to celebrate the mine's 30th production year. The mine's whole workforce on Friday and Saturday took part in the celebrations. "Through the years of production, RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing has been very profitable and invested substantially in the socio-economic development of the Erongo Region and Namibia as a whole. The RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing Foundation has a long history which reflects a true testimony of the residents of Arandis and the region since it initially helped the town become economically independent," Nuuyoma said. The weekend celebrations already started on Friday with various sport activities at the town. "The human efforts can only be found in the existence of an organization such as RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing, which is leading the way towards a new world order in creating a sustainable future. I am happy to learn that the life of the mine-extension LomÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© project has been extended to 2016. This ends a long year of uncertainty and the focus has now been placed on opportunities to grow," Nuuyoma said. According to him, the LomÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© project involves a total capital expenditure of US$112 million. "This project, I am told, will lead to the employment of approximately 150 additional employees, while training opportunities and skills improvement programmes would become available for existing and new staff to have well qualified employees in the future," said Nuuyoma, who cited the improved US$ and the Namibian dollar as plus factors for the mine. The governor urged the mine management to encourage entrepreneurship among the workforce in preparation for the possible unexpected closure of the mine. In welcoming the guests to Arandis, the mayor of the town, Daniel Utapi Muhuura, expressed his council's profound appreciation for the RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing Mine's consistent support over the years. "As a son of the Arandis soil, who wandered its streets, a learner of the Kolin Foundation Secondary school, an employee of the mine for many years and as the town's present mayor, I warmly welcome you all. Without the activities of RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing mine this town would not be in existence and thus, the two cannot be separated from one another," said Muhuura, who proudly mentioned ex- RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing employees such as Asser Kapere, Alpheus Naruseb, Bernard Esau and Frank Fredericks. The managing director of the mine, Mike Leech, projected a positive image of the mine for the next 30 years. "We can already see the existence of the mine beyond 2020 with more years to come. We will produce around 3 500 tonnes of uranium this year and we are focused on getting back to the 4 500 tonnage level as soon as we can. At the same time, we are looking for other ways to grow production even more," asserted Leech, who emphasised mine safety. The chairman of the RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing Board of directors, Charles Kauraisa, called the 30 years of production of the mine a significant achievement. "The making of a mine is never an easy job. What we have achieved here in the Namib Desert with the RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing uranium mine against all environmental and economic odds, is certainly a significant achievement. For this I want to salute the many people who have been involved in establishing the mine and salute the many past and present employees, who have worked with great passion and initiative in the making of this mine. This year alone we have 68 employees with 30 years' experience," Kauraisa said proudly. He went on to elaborate on some of the problems and challenges RÃƒÆ’Ã†'Ãƒâ€ 'ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â 'ÃƒÆ’Ã†''Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing has faced over the years. "Through the years we have adapted to and simply outlived many setbacks and challenges and we will continue to do so. Some of the setbacks were dire economic times, retrenchments and even staring closure in the face. Without doubt all this is now behind us to allow us to focus on the growth of the mine and its employees, along with increased production of uranium oxide for the world's nuclear markets," the board chairman said.
2006-09-05 00:00:00 12 years ago