The joint venture cement project at Sargberg in the Otavi district recently entered its final phase before actual construction, after the government issued an Environmental Clearance certificate. Ohorongo Cement is a joint venture project between Schwenk Namibia and the Namibia Investor Group to explore and mine a limestone deposit 17km north east of Otavi. The project was announced last year. Ohorongo Cement, which is expected to be completed at an estimated N$1.2 billion, acquired its EPL (Exploration Processing License) for limestone from the then Ongopolo Mining and Processing.
One of the first steps in obtaining approval for mining was the completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Management Plan. The EIA was received earlier this year by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which then issued the clearance certificate in the second half of April.
Construction of the cement manufacturing plant is scheduled to start in August, Jan-Karsten Meier, Ohorongo’s Business Development Manager, told the Economist.
“The planning process is in its final stages,” said Meier, “but we still need to sign a final agreement with the main contractor." He added, "Surveying at the site has already began, and the road to the site has been completed.” Construction is expected to be completed in 2010.
The cement manufacturing plant is expected to use approximately 5% of the entire country’s electricity consumption, “but we are still negotiating with NamPower”, said Uwe Muller, the joint venture’s General Manager. “The clearance certificate we acquired from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism was just an assessment on the environment,” he said. “We are still in on-going negotiations with the government in order to acquire our mining licence.”