GIBB designs bridge to uranium mine

GIBB services Husab Mine

Access road leading to Husab Mine
 Husab Mine.jpg

South African consulting engineering company GIBB is involved in the design of a bridge and access road for what is set to be one of the world’s largest uranium mines. 

Located near Swakopmund on the west coast of Namibia, Swakop Uranium’s Husab Mine Project is the largest in-situ, and highest grade, granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia, and currently the third-largest uranium-only deposit in the world. 

“GIBB is providing specialist design supports that include structural engineering, geometric and pavement design,” says GIBB’s Technical Executive for Roads and Highways: Jannie Grobler. GIBB’s involvement in the Husab Mine Project includes complete bridge design and the design of a 23 km access road that will lead to the Husab Mine. 

“The 120 metre bridge is the largest structure to be constructed since Namibia gained its independence,’ says Grobler. Commenting on the latest developments of the project, Grobler says that tenders for the actual construction of the mine have been received and mine owners Swakop Uranium is in the process of appointing the best contractor. “Construction is anticipated to begin in October 2012.” 

The Husab uranium deposit is located 45 kilometres northeast of Namibia’s main port, Walvis Bay, and within the Erongo region, an area that holds several world-class uranium deposits and mines. The Namibian government granted Swakop Uranium a licence in December 2011 to develop the N$12-billion mine, a project that is anticipated to create more than 1 000 permanent jobs and an additional 4 000 jobs at peak construction. 

Besides making Namibia the second largest uranium producer in the world, the Husab Mine is set to boost the country’s export by 20%. It will also add 5% to the country’s gross domestic product. GIBB’s involvement in the Husab Mine Project is through Namibia-based Lithon Project Consultants. 

Remarking on other work conducted by GIBB in the country, Grobler says that the company has also recently completed an airport investigation project at Ondangwa Airport, Namibia.

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