Expenditure on training and skills development increased substantially for the period in review from N$82.8 million in 2016 to N$184.9 million in 2017, annual report of Camber of Mines (CoM) indicates.
Expenditure undertaken by exploration companies alone spiked from N$99 million in 2016 to N$303 million in 2017 representing an increase of 204%.
Fixed investment by the sector increased from N$3.46 billion in 2016 to N$5.73 billion in 2017.
In 2017 mining and exploration companies collectively employed 9,643 people in permanent positions and a total employment by the sector which includes permanent, temporary positions and contractors increased from 15 673 in 2016 to 16 905 in 2017.
“The uptick is also an indication that confidence is being reignited by improving commodity markets, and that operations are positioning themselves to benefit from the favorable economic conditions. Similarly, it comes as no surprise then that exploration expenditure has seen a positive trend since 2015 with total exploration by mining operations and exploration companies increasing from N$528 million in 2016 to N$ 562 million in 2017,” the report states.
“Aside from the uranium sector, the immediate outlook for the mining sector is promising. In tough economic times it also remains evident that mining is the bedrock of the Namibian economy. However, to ensure that the sector maximizes from high commodity prices and continues to grow, it is imperative that loose ends in the policy framework are addressed with urgency,” the report states.
Further stating that with actioned intent recently displayed by Ministry of Mine and Energy’s new administration to work directly along side with industry the CoM is confident that pending issues which have hamstrung investments into exploration will be resolved.