Uranium One withdraws High Court challenge

Uranium One Group, the Russian company that wants to mine uranium in the Stampriet Basin through in-situ leach mining, has decided to withdraw its application for the review of the minister of agriculture, water and land reform’s refusal to grant the company a drilling permit.

In a statement issued last night Uranium One said early in 2023 the company filed an application for a review in the High Court of Namibia to challenge the decision of agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein for not issuing the company exploration drilling permits.

“Uranium One has decided to withdraw this case due to the fact that on 29 August 2023, the Water Resources Management Act . . . was brought into operation by the minister of agriculture, water and land reform, although the act has been in existence since 2013,” the statement said.

In addition, the company said the act has introduced material changes to the previously existing legal landscape, and as such Uranium One has decided to withdraw the case as an illustration of its intent to follow the laws of the Republic of Namibia.

“As in the past, Uranium One again invites all stakeholders to engage with the company to address any issue any stakeholder may have regarding the project of the company.

“Uranium One is confident that the project will hold great benefits for the country and that the whole process of exploration, test mining and the eventual mining of uranium will be absolutely safe, with the minimum negative ecological impact,” said Uranium One.

Apart from Schlettwein, who has openly spoken against in-situ leach mining in aquifer areas, the Stampriet Aquifer Uranium Mining Association (Sauma), is vehemently opposed to the project.

The organisation is fighting to protect drinking water in the Stampriet Basin and has warned the Namibian government of a national catastrophe, including litigation, should full-scale in-situ leach mining be allowed in the area.

– email: matthew@namibian.com.na

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!