Public participation needed

Further possible exploration east of Erindi

24 November 2020 | Environment

Windhoek • [email protected]
Interested parties have until 1 December to review two proposed projects on exploration activities
for base, rare and precious metals in the Otjozondjupa region.
According to a newspaper advertisement, Cheetah Minerals Exploration intends to carry out
exploration activities west of the B1 and east of the Erindi Private Game Reserve. According to
notice: “Exploration methods may include non-invasive ground geo-physical surveys, soil and stream
sediment sampling and geological mapping,” and that exploration drilling is also planned.
Environmental Compliance Consultancy (ECC) has been engaged by Cheetah Minerals Exploration to
undertake an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), as well an Environmental
Management Plan (EMP). According to a background information document by the ECC, an
environmental clearance application will be submitted to the relevant authorities, the Ministry of
Mines and Energy (MME) and Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
The locations (EPL 7729 and EPL 7935) to be explored for the potential of gold are east of Omaruru
and in the vicinity of the Etjo Mountains in the Otjozondjupa region.
EEC said the proposed exploration activities are generally low-impact and non-intrusive. Activities
include a preliminary field inspection of onsite geology, potential creation of access tracks where
existing tracks cannot be utilised, as well as limited vegetation clearing for the creation of tracks, and
survey access.
The aim is to pursue exploration opportunities to identify new mining prospects. Exploration could
possibly lead to mining activities, which could contribute to the national and local economies.
While potential social impacts are anticipated to be of low significance, those that may transpire will
be confined within the EPL. These impacts include the potential to unearth, damage or destroy
undiscovered heritage remains, minor disruption to the residents of the farms within the EPL,
including some increase in noise levels and dust arising from drilling and vehicle use. EEC says that
some jobs will be created as a result of the project and there will be economic benefits due to
increased investment and investor confidence in the Namibian minerals sector.
However, public participation is an important part of the ESIA process, as it allows the public and
other stakeholders to raise concerns or provide local environmental knowledge that can benefit the
assessment and it can aid the design process.
This project is currently at the scoping and public participation phase.
The public can register by sending an email to [email protected] or visiting
www.eccenvironmental.com/projects/

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