The Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has issued the ECC, which is valid for three years and can be renewed on a three-yearly cycle and is subject to the relocation of historical graves within the project area
Canadian gold mine developer and explorer Osino Resources has secured an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) for the Twin Hills gold project in Namibia.
The Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has issued the ECC, which is valid for three years and can be renewed on a three-yearly cycle.
The clearance is subject to the relocation of historical graves within the project area, and the company is seeking a permit from Namibia’s National Heritage Council (NHC).
Osino has submitted all the necessary documents to NHC for review, and graves are anticipated to be relocated with consent from the descendants.
In addition, any archaeological finds in the project area must be reported to the National Heritage Council (NHC) for review, guidance, and management, said the company.
Osino co-founder president and CEO Heye Daun said: “We are very pleased to have received environmental authorisation for full-scale mining for our Twin Hills gold project.
“We recognise that there are still a few outstanding approvals and consents to be achieved (such as the grave relocation, conclusion of the site-specific secondary permits, and the additional conditions to the mining license explained below).
“Nevertheless, this milestone takes us one step closer to being fully permitted. This again confirms Namibia as one of the world’s top mining jurisdictions, where it is possible to permit and advance a large-scale open pit gold mining project, according to global best practices, from inception to approval within less than three years.”
Namibia’s Ministry of Mines & Energy (MME) and Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT) have reviewed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the project.
The review, which follows engagement and environmental baseline in 2021 and 2022, has identified no material flaws in the scope and assessment of the project.
Securing an environmental permit fulfils one of the three conditions required for the project’s full mining licence, to be granted by MME.
The other two conditions include the sale of 5% local Namibian minority equity participation and the fulfilment of certain affirmative action and poverty alleviation measures.
Last year, Osino received the 20-year mining license for the Twin Hills gold project from Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).
The company has already started the application process for securing secondary permits, which are operationally specific, with plans to begin early works in the second half of this year.