Bloomberg News

Namibia Probes Dundee Precious Metals Over Poisonous Compound

November 24, 2011

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Namibia will investigate claims that a smelter run by Canadia’s Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is emitting high levels of arsenic trioxide, Information Minister Joel Kaapanda said.

Namibia Custom Smelters, in the northern town of Tsumeb, imports copper from Bulgaria, which residents and environmental groups say contains high levels of the inorganic compound that has caused skin and lung and problems among employees and residents. Arsenic trioxide is used in wood preservatives and some electronics.

A team headed by Attorney-General Albert Kawana will make recommendations to the government on appropriate measures, Kaapanda said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Dundee bought the smelter from Weatherly International Plc for 400 million Namibia dollars ($47 million) last year. Following the sale, an oxygen plant was commissioned to double smelting capacity to 240,000 metric tons per year.

--Editors: Hilton Shone, Gordon Bell

To contact the reporter on this story: Chamwe Kaira in Windhoek at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at -0- Nov/24/2011 08:35 GMT

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