Search for copper at Gobabis

06 October 2021 | Business

Gobabis • [email protected]

Farmers in the Gobabis area can expect visitors next week when an electromagnetic aerial survey kicks off in the area on Thursday, 14 October. The aerial survey aims to identify copper deposits.
This announcement was made in several newspapers this week by the executive director of Kuiseb Copper, Dr Branko Corner.
According to Corner, the survey will measure the electrical conductivity of the soil on various farms in the area, which with existing information from magnetic surveys, can determine where copper can be found.
In September last year, Kuiseb Copper set up a joint venture with Rio Tinto, which has now contracted for New Resolution Geophysics from South Africa to conduct the survey.
The survey will cover three blocks, and six more point-to-point routes will follow as part of the area's early exploration covered by the partners' joint exclusive exploration licences.
An environmental clearance certificate has already been issued for the survey, while relevant applications have also been submitted to the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The survey is expected to last about a month.
Routes in the three blocks will be flown 800 m apart, from the northwest to the southeast and the helicopter will fly between 75 m and 85 m above the ground, with the transmitter and receiver between 35 m and 45 m from the ground.
The Namibian Agricultural Union's (NAU) legal representative has drawn up a compensation agreement in the event that any game or livestock is injured or killed as a result of the survey, according to Kuiseb Copper, and Corner says 82% of the farmers involved already signed the agreement.
One of the owners who did not sign is Cassie Carstens of Arnhem Caves. He is worried about how the noise of the helicopter will affect the between 10 000 and 15000 bats that live in the caves.
“The problem is that the cave runs straight down and the sound of the helicopter may damage or chase away the bats,” he says.
Five bat species are found in the cave, and Carstens says he approached his lawyer about the issue.
Corner says he is aware of Carstens’ concern and after not receiving feedback from him, it was decided to remove Arnhem from the recording.
The same approach was applied to other farms where consensus could not be reached.
“Similar surveys have been done in Namibia before, but it is expensive and a lack of communication has led to a bad impression among the farmers involved. We have decided in advance to do everything transparently and we are grateful to the farmers for their cooperation,” he said.