Leviev Group expected project finance to cover about three quarters of a $1.8 billion plan to mine phosphates from the Namibian coast.

Leviev received permission from the Namibian Government to building a pilot processing plant in the country before the completion of an environmental impact study by the Norwegian Institute of Marin Research and Sintef, according to a Bloomberg report.

The  US firm aims to start commercial production from the estimated 2 billion metric-ton deposit in 2018, in the event that the ban is lifted on marine mining of phosphate by the Namibian Government, stated Leviev Group Namibian Phosphate Unit MD, Kombayedu Kapwanga.

Financing structured

He said that financing would not be too difficult for the phosphate project, in an interview with Bloomberg this week.

“About 25% of that will come from our own internal resources and the rest from project financiers,” said Kapwanga.

Marine-life disturbance

As for the environmental impact from mining phosphate of Namibia’s coast, Kapwanga said that there was nothing wrong with mining the sea floor.

He said that the deposit will be exploited with little disturbance to marine life.

The phosphate could supply agricultural markets in India and South America in addition to southern Africa, said Kapwanga.

Namibia’s Atlantic coast area holds an estimated 80 million carats of gems, the world’s richest marine-diamond deposits, which were carried to the sea by the Orange River, according to De Beers.