NMP presses ahead with phosphate mining

• By Hilary Mare

STEPS are being taken to progress the Sandpiper marine phosphate project offshore of Namibia in compliance with last year’s High Court ruling, Namibian Marine Phosphate stated on Tuesday.

The High Court confirmed the ongoing validity of Namibia Marine’s mining licence on June 30 2021, and an independent environmental assessment practitioner has been appointed to manage the application and assessment process for the proposed Sandpiper project, Namibian Marine Phosphate stated in a released this week.

Notice of the application and details of public meetings for Sandpiper have been published in newspapers and public meetings will be held in Windhoek and in Walvis Bay.

Stakeholders as well as interested and affected parties have been encouraged to register their details at the public meetings.

The proposed project will employ more than 600 Namibians directly and indirectly for construction and operations in Walvis Bay, said Namibia Marine Phosphate, which added that analysis by the Chamber of Mines of Namibia found last year that seven additional new jobs are created indirectly in the economy by every new mining job. In terms of that multiplication, Sandpiper is expected to create 4 200 jobs.

Marine phosphate mining and processing, the company stated, was also able to provide Namibia with the phosphate concentrate required to develop an integrated fertiliser industry.

“Marine phosphate mining and processing will create new mining operations, such as NMP’s Sandpiper Project, and can also provide Namibia with the phosphate concentrate required to develop a fully integrated fertiliser industry that has the potential to make a significant positive contribution to the country’s local and national economy in the areas of job creation, poverty eradication, industrialisation and government revenue generation,” the management of the company stated while affirming commitment to responsible commercial, social, and environmental development.

The company went on to state that a substantial base of scientific data on the proposed Sandpiper Project in ML170 has already been established, however, NMP is aware that a significant amount of misinformation is being circulated in social and other media platforms in relation to the proposed Sandpiper Project, the proponents of phosphate projects, marine phosphate, and also marine or seabed mining in general.

“NMP encourages all agencies, stakeholders, I&AP’s, and the general public to seek access to verified data, facts, and credible expert opinions on these matters. NMP welcomes the opportunity for constructive engagement with any parties seeking information on the proposed project,” the company further stated.

Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) is a Namibian registered joint venture company, the shareholders of which are Mawarid Mining LLC from Oman and Namibian company Havana Investments (PTY) Ltd.