Business – News | 2022-10-25
by Eino Vatileni
THE Ministry of Mines and Energy is currently negotiating an agreement with the European Union (EU) over the exporting of minerals.
Ministry spokesperson Andreas Simon says the deal will only be signed if it is in favour of Namibia.
“We will communicate once everything is finalised,” he says.
Last week Reuters reported that Namibia has provisionally agreed on a deal with the EU to sell its rare earth minerals, critical to the renewable energy sectors, quoting mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo.
Namibia has significant reserves of rare earth minerals, such as dysprosium and terbium which are needed for permanent magnets in the batteries of electric cars and wind turbines.
“The European Union wants easier access to minerals in Namibia, and plans geological projects to explore the resources of a country which is nearly as big as the combined territory of France and Germany, an EU official told Reuters in July,” Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, Alweendo said there was demand for Namibia’s rare earth metals to power the global transition to green energy.
Namibia aims to position itself as a renewable energy hub in Africa.
A source at the ministry said the agreement is still in draft format, and will soon be taken to the Cabinet for approval.
“The EU wants to have access to the critical raw materials Namibia has … The deal has not been signed yet, but it will only be approved if it is to Namibia’s advantage,” the source said.
According to the source, whatever mineral will be requested or wanted by the EU will not leave Namibia without going through a process of value addition.
“The EU will have to go through the process of applying for a mining licence and export licence before it starts operating,” the source said.
“It’s actually the basic benefits of mining. There will be employment creation in the country. All minerals are treated the same. They are minerals that are in global demand for energy transition and for the fourth Industrial Revolution,” the source said.