December 14, 2017

Locals angered with exploration activities

A section of the community at Onduezongange, an area also known as Bulskop in the Ovitoto district, is unhappy with exploration activities in the area, which they say is taking place without their knowledge or that of the traditional leadership. Bulskop Mining started drilling this year at several places, one of which the community claims is a graveyard.

Bulskop Mining is exploring for rare metals, dimension stones, industrial minerals, precious metals, precious stones and semi-precious stones.

The company has an exploration licence from the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The community had presented its grievances to the ministry which had asked the exploration company to appease the community by briefing the community on ongoing exploration activities in the area. A meeting to this effect is understood to have taken place in the area.

A section of the community nevertheless feels that the exploration should not go ahead without the community’s blessing. “The community was not told what is going on. The chiefs were also bypassed,” complains, Daniel Tjiuma, a member of the Kambazembi Traditional Authority, adding that the Kapuuo Traditional Authority and Ombandi Traditional Authority were also by-passed.

The mining commissioner in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Erasmus Shivolo, explained that upon receiving the community complaints, the ministry encouraged Bulskop Mining to seek dialogue with the community.

They reported that they have intercepted some traces of minerals, Shivolo said of the exploration stages, adding that it was the basis upon which Bulskop Mining secured a mineral licence.

Bulskop Mining has also been asked not to drill on sites that are within seven metres of the national grid power line, on individual properties or within 100 meters of private properties, to ensure that no oil spillage is left after drilling. They were also asked not to cut trees unnecessarily.

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