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A-Cap to resettle villagers for uranium mine

ISAAC PINIELO
A-Cap Resources Botswana will relocate multitudes of rural families in the Gojwane and Serule villages to pave way for the development of the country’s first Letlhakane uranium mine.

This week, the Australia-based company said it has embarked on a comprehensive consultation and engagement with communities affected by the envisaged project in those villages in the Central District.

Environmental consultants, Ecosurve, have been tasked, in conjunction with the Tonota Sub-Land Board, to prepare the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). “The Tonota Sub-Land Board has convened an assessment committee that comprises two technical officers and three members of the board,” A-Cap said.

It added that the committee is expected to work with A-Cap and Ecosurve during the development of the RAP, which will ultimately guide the developer during the compensation phase.

The consultation kicks off today in the Serule and Gojwane villages, where the development of a mine and wellfield will take place.

In fulfilment of a mining licence requirements, A-Cap said it has demarcated the mine lease boundary, adding that the consultation is part of the land acquisition process to develop an RAP that is intended to guide the relocation of properties/assets in the mine lease area.

“The affected properties include privately owned boreholes, livestock

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and fields as well as government and public assets,” said A-Cap.

Last year, A-Cap chief executive officer, Paul Thomson was quoted as saying that the company has been conducting extensive work over the years, commencing 2009, in studying and identifying the overall environmental and social impacts associated with developing the first uranium mine in the country.

The company, which has a primary listing on Australia’s ASX exchange and a secondary on the Botswana Stock Exchange is planning to develop the uranium mine that will produce 3.75 million pounds annually which is expected to start in 2018 and projected to run for 18 years.

Botswana is estimated to hold slightly more than one billion tonnes in uranium reserves and the government has issued prospecting licences in the last decade, although no production has taken place to date.

Letlhakane is one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits with an estimated resource of 365.7 million pounds.

According to the company, the project has the distinct advantage of having all the major infrastructure in place.



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