ONGWEDIVA: The Epangelo Mining Company is on track with its strategic plan aimed at gaining assets worth N.dollars 5 billion in five years, starting from 2010.
“We are halfway to reaching our target of having assets worth N.dollars 5 billion,” Epangelo Mining Managing Director (MD) Elifas Hawala told Nampa in an interview here on Saturday.
The company is participating in the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair currently underway at the northern town.
Hawala said so far, his company has signed six agreements on the mining and exploration of nuclear fuels and iron ore.
Amongst others, Epangelo has signed an agreement with Russian uranium mining company AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ) on the exploration of nuclear fuels, while last year the company inked a uranium exploration agreement with the American company Nabirm.
It has also signed a uranium exploration agreement with Vedanta Resources.
“We have so far acquired 10 shares each in Kombat Mine, Usab Mine and Rare Earth Incorporated Nuclear Fuels,” he stated.
So far, the company has also acquired 29 Exclusive Prospecting Licences (EPLs) out of the 44 applied for.
Despite its achievements so far, the company also faces a lot of challenges, which include a lack of expertise, and financing.
In the 2012/2013 national budget, the company received only N.dollars 5 million.
“Lack of technical expertise is one of the challenges faced by the company nowadays, that is why we are busy signing agreements with other mining companies in order to mine and explore along with them,” Hawala indicated.
The State-owned Epangelo Mining last month lost its chance to obtain a stake in Bannerman Resources’ Etango project in the Namib, which the Australian company wants to develop as one of the top 10 uranium-only mining operations in the world.
In April, Bannerman announced that it had agreed that Epangelo could buy five per cent in Etango, provided it came up with about N.dollars 32 million within the next four months.
Asked why Epangelo lost out on the opportunity to acquire shares in Etango, Hawala said not all negotiations or discussions the company is engaged on will emerged successful, as they have to sign agreements “which benefit the company”.