March 6th, 2015 | by New Era Staff Reporter
WINDHOEK – The Chamber of Mines of Namibia yesterday confirmed its hopes to finalise a Mineral Beneficiation Strategy by the end of this year. The strategy would be the proposed final roadmap to guide Namibia to Vision 2030 in its industrialisation drive based on the country’s mineral resources.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the chamber, Veston Malango, Namibia’s mineral resources hold numerous opportunities for value addition, which would result in the much-needed diversification of both the mining sector and the national economy at large.
Beneficiation came to the fore towards mid-2011 when the Ministry of Finance announced the intention to introduce an export levy of five percent as an incentive for value addition within the mining sector and other natural resource-exporting industries. Malango yesterday noted that the chamber convinced government that a five percent levy would be detrimental to the mining industry after which the proposed levy was reduced to two percent.
In response to the announcement, the Chamber of Mines proposed the establishment of a Joint Value Addition Committee, which was constituted in 2013 under the leadership of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. According to a report by the committee, which was presented in August 2014, further downstream value addition potential is available in the diamond, zinc and iron sectors. The report further identified diamonds, copper, zinc and iron ore as “low hanging fruits” on which a strong manufacturing base could be established.
Malango made these remarks at the announcement of this year’s Namibian Mining Expo and Conference, to take place on May 20 and 21. “After the overwhelming success of the past three biennial Mining Expos, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia has decided to make this event an annual highlight on the Namibian mining calendar,” said Malango.
The event brings together companies, suppliers, stakeholders and investors to showcase Namibia’s mining industry and the developments in the sector to all stakeholders. This year’s event will take place under the theme: “Mining Industry – A Catalyst for Vision 2030”.
The Mining Conference, held on the sidelines of the Expo, will include presentations on new projects such as the Otjikoto Gold Mine, the Husab Uranium Mine, and the Tschudi Copper Mine. “Looking specifically at the future of mining in Namibia, the conference will also focus on vital issues such as value addition, power supply, women in mining and mining safety. There also will be sessions on the zinc and nuclear fuel industries,” remarked Malango. The Chamber of Mines represents the interests of all the major mining and exploration companies active in Namibia.
The chamber is celebrating 46 years of existence in 2015 and has a membership of 112 companies.