Husab Uranium Mine operated by China's State-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) only expects the mine to ramp up production in 2019 from its initial forecast of August 2018.
Husab mine will continue to be optimized in 2018 while the company will ramp up its throughput to ensure the mine reaches its design capacity of 6500 metric tonnes by 2019, said Percy McCallum a spokesperson for the mine.
In a telephone interview with the Windhoek Observer, McCallum said that it takes over 20 months for a mine to reach full production after construction thus to reach full production in 2018 will not be possible.
The mine produced its first drum of uranium oxide in December 2016.
According to McCallum, the mine only produced over 1,000 metric tons of uranium oxide last year.
He was, however, mum on the 2018 estimates.
At full production, Husab will be the largest open pit uranium mine in the world.
“Each year we will mine 150 million tonnes and produce over 15 million pounds of uranium. Capital investment in the project exceeded US$2 billion, and remains the largest single physical investment to date by China in Africa. Husab will propel Namibia to become the world’s third largest producer of uranium. Namibia can justly claim to be cleanly powering the globe,” McCallum said.
He added that the majority of production will be sold to China.
Husab’s major shareholder, CGN, is a large clean energy group with installed nuclear capacity of 21.47MW representing 62 percent of installed nuclear capacity in China, and a further 10.27 MW under construction – accounting for 44 percent of the capacity being built in China, making it the largest developer of nuclear power in the world.