Namibia’s mining sector is unique: Malango

25 Feb 2016 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 25 FEB (NAMPA) – The mining sector of Namibia is unique as it continues to create jobs through the construction of three new mines, despite the global economic shambles and downturn in other southern African countries.
The 2014 Fraser Institute Report ranked Namibia as a top investment destination in Africa, as observed by Veston Malango, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia.
Namibia has seen the construction of a world-class uranium mine, called the Husab mine, near Swakopmund in the Erongo Region; the B2Gold Otjikoto Gold Mine; and the Tschudi mine, which is one of the largest copper mines, located in northern Namibia’s Oshikoto Region.
Tschudi represents one of the largest copper reserves in Namibia and in the world, having estimated reserves of 70 million tonnes of ore grading 0.7 per cent worth of copper.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview shortly after a media briefing on the announcement of the Mining Expo and Conference scheduled for 27 – 28 April 2016, Malango said the domestic mining sector has done exceptionally well in maintaining its status as a top mining destination, which should be preserved and acknowledged.
“In the last four years, we as the Chamber of Mines of Namibia in collaboration with Government, have kept the investment climate very attractive and managed to rake in investments worth N.dollars 30 billion. Investors are here to help us develop the country. They are not here to mine and take everything as many people may think, and of course, it is a win-win situation for both Government and investors.”
Part of the factors that contribute to the country’s positive rating is the Geological Survey of Namibia that was also voted as one of the best geological surveys in the world, according to the Behre Dolbears 2015 report, ‘Where to invest in Mining’.
“That is a plus for Namibia, which is very good for us. But the challenge that comes with such good ratings is maintaining that prestigious position, and that is why we have seen investments coming in for Namibia.”
The report classified Namibia as the most attractive investment destination for mining and exploration in Africa, followed by industry heavyweight Botswana, amongst 30 African countries rated.
According to Malango, an estimate of 70 000 jobs were lost as a result of the global economic slump in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
This means up to 560 000 people have been deprived of their daily subsistence, considering that each employee supports between five to seven dependants.
This is based on information provided by the Ministry Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA), on 08 February 2016, he said.
“That has been the general trend in SADC in terms of job losses and that has not been unique to only Zimbabwe, Tanzania or South Africa; it is all of us including Namibia that has been affected, but we are unique because in spite of all this, we are actually doing far better than any other country that is mineral dependant.”