AREVA appoints new MD

By By Michael Tambo
October 2011
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AREVA Resources Namibia has appointed Alain L’Hour, Managing Director for AREVA Resources Namibia and AREVA Processing Namibia.

The Frenchman, L’Hour who has extensive experience in the nuclear energy industry also assumes the role of Chairperson for Erongo Desalination Company. He replaces Enrico Barbaglia who was the MD of AREVA Resources Namibia for the past 18 months.

L’Hour, well-known for his inspirational leadership, rooted in his constant participation in the action rather than as an office-bound manager, came to Namibia as a Project Director to start the Trekkopje Mine and the Erongo desalination plant.

His long and seasoned history with AREVA started way back in 1986 as a consulting Projects Manager responsible for a diversity of initiatives in countries such as Pakistan, Ukrain (Chernobyl), Jordan, Kazakhstan, China, Japan, Australia, India and France.

Hilifa Mbako, the Country Manager of AREVA Resources Namibia, said L’Hour brings to the company and to Namibia a wealth of unmatched experience in the nuclear energy and uranium mining sectors.

“It is with the greatest of confidence that I believe Alain will prosper in his new portfolio in the current Namibian Trekkopje Project which he had the privilege to build from scratch. I wish him, his wife Gael and two sons Hadrien and Valentin all the best in their journey ahead and thank him most sincerely for his commendable contributions to AREVA Resources Namibia over the past three years,” said Mbako.

Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services. AREVA chose to build its flagship mines in Namibia, due to its stable, democratic government and well developed infrastructure. Given its unique conditions of low-grade ore and the use of alkaline leaching, it is likely to be a template for other low-grade operations both in Namibia and elsewhere.

The Trekkopje mining project is one of the group’s flagship project and among the most advanced in terms of construction. By using water from the desalination plant built by AREVA, the heap leaching mining method (which uses large quantities of water), will have very little impact on the environment. The Trekkopje project will give Namibia two large uranium mines capable of supplying nearly 10% of global demand for uranium.

AREVA also appointed Jerome Sion (insert) Financial Director with effect from August 1.

Located 70 kilometres northeast of Swakopmund, the Trekkopje site encompasses a very large uranium deposit that is 3 kilometres wide by 14 kilometres long. The shallow deposit can be mined in an open pit operation, making it the largest mine of this type in Southern Africa. To recover the uranium, miners will remove the burden from the deposit, drill, extract the ore using explosives, and transport it to the processing plant.

AREVA also supplies solutions for power generation with less carbon. Its expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement. The group is also expanding in renewable energies – wind, solar, bio energies, hydrogen and storage – to be one of the top three in this sector worldwide in 2012.

AREVA Resources Namibia has engaged into smart partnerships with the communities in which they serve different social responsibilities In Spitzkoppe, Arandis and Swakopmund communities.