EPLs increase by 53.8 per cent compared to last year
23 Oct 2013 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 23 OCT (NAMPA) - The number of exclusive prospecting licenses (EPLs) granted for mineral exploration during the first two quarters of 2013 outnumbered those issued during the corresponding period last year.
The Bank of Namibia (BoN) in its quarterly bulletin of September 2013, which was made available during the monetary policy announcement here on Wednesday, indicated that a total of 406 EPLs were issued during the first two quarters of this year. The figure represents an increase of 53.8 per cent compared to the number of EPLs issued during the corresponding period in 2012.
The increase was predominantly reflected in EPLs granted for exploration of precious metals, nuclear fuel, base and rare metals. No mining licenses were issued during the review period compared to seven mining licenses granted during the corresponding period last year, it stated.
Statistics provided for EPLs granted during the second quarter compared to the first quarter indicated that a total of 44 EPLs were issued for base and rare metals, compared to 71 during the first quarter.
Twenty-nine EPLs were issued for industrial metals compared to 59 in the first quarter; while five EPLs were issued for dimension stone compared to seven; and 10 EPLs were issued for nuclear fuel compared to 36.
Forty-nine EPLs were issued for precious metals compared to 69 issued in the first quarter; while 13 EPLs were issued for precious stones compared to 14 in the first quarter.
No EPLs were issued for non-nuclear fuel so far compared to 12 EPLs in the second quarter of 2012. In addition, no EPLs were issued for semi-precious stones since the beginning of the year compared to 28 EPLs granted in the first quarter of 2012.
Meanwhile, the mining sector displayed a slightly weaker performance during the second quarter of 2013 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2012, as reflected in the decline of production of diamonds and gold, while production of uranium and zinc concentrate increased. On the negative side, lower grades and operation issues harmfully affected the production of diamonds and gold, respectively.