1.What does the Environmental Section do on the Mine?
The role of the Environmental Section it to provide guidance/advise and ensure compliance of new activities/projects, EMP commitments and Legal requirements. This is done through conducting compliance, biophysical and biodiversity monitoring.
2.What does Environment and Environmental Management entail?
Environment refers to your natural surroundings and takes into consideration all the biotic (living), abiotic (non-living) factors and ecosystems; this includes us as human beings. Environmental Management is therefore the control of human activities to avoid or minimise the affect on the natural environment and is achieved through sound environmental management.
3.In the context of Husab, what is our unique about our environment?
We find ourselves surrounding by unique geographical features (major river confluences, drainage lines, desert gravel plains, marble ridges, natural springs) and not limited to a rich archaeological history stretching from pre WW1 falling within our jurisdiction. Numerous rare, endemic and protected species such as; Welwitschia mirabilis, Husab sand lizard, Camelthorn trees (carbon dated up until 1000 years old), brown hyenas, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, lithops to name a few. Therefore the need for environmental management is of a great priority due to our unique ecosystems and geology, and all aspects have been included into the design of the Husab Mine.
4.Name some of the environmental aspects were taken into account during the EIA processes to ensure our footprint is limited?
The linear infrastructure for the permanent access road reviewed the design requirements to limit the removal of protected trees and plants. Swakop Uranium was honoured with an award in 2014 by the Botanical Society of Namibia for this achievement. Only a few Camelthorn Trees were removed and Welwitschia’s transplanted. Lithops were removed for further restoration trails and testing. The design also took into account to limit the disturbance to the artefacts of the old colonial German Railway and stations remnants. The permanent water pipeline design also took into account the individual Welwitschia plants that resides in close proximity to the pipeline original design requirements. The pipeline was rerouted to ensure over 100 plants were not disturbed and only three has to be transplanted. The overall mining and operational footprint took into account the sensitive biodiversity hotspots, archaeological artefacts and important drainages to ensure the construction of the mine was both economically and environmentally feasible from a cumulative perspective.
5.Does Swakop Uranium have a detailed Mine Closure Plan in place?
Yes, during the EIA processes from 2012, the original mine closure commitments were reviewed and addressed. In 2018 the Husab Mine finalised the Restoration, Rehabilitation & Mine Closure Plan with a detailed closure liability costing included. The detailed social component of this study will be completed in 2020.