Chapter 3 - Project description

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The information in this chapter focuses exclusively on the marine component of the project relating to the operations to be undertaken in marine mining licence ML170 located some 120km to the southwest of Walvis Bay. This chapter is based on information provided by the project proponent (Namibian Marine Phosphate Pty Ltd) (NMP) and its appointed specialist consultants/contractors. The project proponent (NMP) is a Namibian registered joint venture company comprising of a Namibian women's empowerment group Tungeni Investments cc (15%) as well as the Namibian subsidiaries of two Australian Listed Stock Exchange companies, Minemakers Limited (42.5%)1 , and UCL Resources Limited 2 (42.5%). Phosphates in the marine environment were first discovered and regionally mapped on the Namibian shelf in the late 1960s and 1970's, with subsequent exploratory work undertaken by the South African mining company Gencor Ltd and others in the 1990s and 2000's. The phosphate deposit off Walvis Bay was termed Sandpiper Deposit" by Gencor, and that name has been retained. Phosphate deposits (of various type and grade) are known to be widely distributed on the Namibian continental shelf. In the 1990s the Sandpiper deposit was considered as sub economic based on current prices for rock phosphate concentrate (1991: US$ 42.50 tonne). From 2007 the value of phosphate rock concentrate (32%P2O5) increased rapidly from US$ 80.00 per tonne, peaking at US$ 430.00 per tonne in August - September 2008 resulting in a re-rating of the economic viability of phosphate projects worldwide. The current market price is significantly lower than the 2008 peak price placed currently at around US$ 197.503 (September 2011), which still leaves several projects, including the Sandpiper project at economically viable levels."

Series Title:
Sandpiper Project - Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed dredging of phosphate enriched sediments from Marine Licence Area No. 170.
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