WINDHOEK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Plans to open Namibia’s second iron ore mine are being pursued by an Indian-controlled company called Blake Trading, documents seen by Reuters on Friday show.
The group, which is majority owned by a subsidiary of Indian steel giant Jindal Steel and Power called Jindal Steel and Power Mauritius Ltd, expects the planned mine east of the capital Windhoek to have a potential lifespan of 40 years.
Mining is an important contributor to the South West African country’s economy and added 11.1 percent to its GDP during 2016, the Namibian Statistics Agency says.
Iron ore mining at the new facility will begin with the processing of 1 million tonnes of ore per year, increasing to 10 million tonnes thereafter, the documents show.
The proposed mining activities entail the development of an open pit mine and related ancillary works to extract ore, which is estimated will be concentrated to around 70 percent iron.
Jindal is a steel manufacturing company that has an internal demand for iron ore and the planned mine will secure this, with concentrated iron ore transported to Walvis Bay for shipment to international markets.
Initial exploration results indicated the presence of an economically mineable ore reserve and the company plans to start mining on the defined ore reserves, while exploration continues.
The project has an estimated total power demand of 15 MW and preliminary talks with Namibian power utility NamPower indicate it is ready to meet this, documents show. (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; editing by Alexander Smith)