Section A: Verification Programme
Namibian Marine Phosphate (Pty) Ltd (NMP) has applied to recover phosphatic sediments from the seabed on the Namibian continental shelf. Following an extensive exploration programme a mining licence (ML 170) was issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) on the 13 July 2011 with the standard conditions requiring the issue of an Environmental Clearance Certificate by Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) prior to commencement of operations. The Sandpiper marine phosphate project (ML 170) is located on the Namibian continental shelf approximately 120 km south southwest of Walvis Bay (see Frontispiece). The eastern boundary of the Mining Licence Area is approximately 60 km off the coast directly west of Conception Bay. The water depths in the licence area range from 180 to 300 m. The Mining Licence Area is 25.2 km wide (greatest width) and 115 km long (longest length) and covers an area of 2233 km2. The phosphate-enriched sediments and the defined mineral resources and reserves, are located throughout the entire Mining Licence Area (ML 170). Within the ML 170 area, three initial target dredging areas have been identified namely SP-1, SP-2 and SP-3 (Figure 1). The primary target dredge site for the 20 year licence period is SP-1 (176 km2) which lies in water depths of 200 to 225 m. A Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) (Figure 2) will be used to recover approximately 5.5 million tons of sediment annually from an area of up to 3 km2 in extent. A total area of approximately 60 km2 will be dredged over the course of the 20 year mine licence period. The other sites SP-2 and SP-3 also contain phosphate resources and may be considered at a later stage, at which time the requisite additional environmental evaluations will be made in accordance with the Environmental Management Act (Act No. 7) of 2007.
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