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Location: Swakopmund District, Eastern Namibia (View location on map)

Minerals Worked: Copper

Principal Mines: Khan Mine. 

Background History:

Mining development commenced on this site in 1908 by the Khan Kupfergrube Gesellschaft and continued for a further six years culminating in the construction of an ore dressing plant. This plant, which was imported from Germany, was fully electrically driven.

The mine was connected to Arandis Siding on the Usakos to Swakopmund railway line by a spur track of narrow gauge line. Considerable expense was incurred in equipping the mine and in providing amenities for its staff. The plant went into operation in May 1914 but the outbreak of the Great War, in August of the same year, caused operations to be suspended until September 1915. By November 1915 the mine was again in a position to start production and operated until the end of January 1918 when company funds were running out. While in operation the mine made a consistent loss. In all, some 22,000 tons of ore were mined during this initial operating period.

An early postcard view of the Khan mine showing the Concentrator in the background.

When work ceased in 1918 the mine was placed on a regime of care and maintenance. Efforts to raise new operating capital were unsuccessful and, in 1925, the chances of revival were much diminished when the mine workings and its surface infrastructure were damaged by flooding by a tributary of the Khan River that runs through the property.

In 1929 the plant plus other surface equipment were sold. Twenty years later, in 1949, further prospecting was carried out by a subsidiary of Iscor of South Africa. No new developments resulted from this exercise.

A second phase of production from 1964 to 1974 produced just over 4,000 tons of concentrate. However, the grade diminished with depth to less than 2% copper once 120m below the surface.

The mine finally closed in January 1975 with payable reserves almost totally depleted. Prospecting rights were exercised by Anglo American until 1988, but without promising results. The remains of the mine are currently owned by the Ohlthaver & List Group.

The Tokens

None known.

The Postcards

The Postcard coverage of this mine are believed to be limited to the early South African Mandate era.

"Thumbnail" Images  (Note 1) Card Title or Description Card  Ref. No.
General view of the Khan Mine & Concentrator  PC187


1) For further information and enlarged views of each postcard click on any one of the above images.

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