Welcome to the Chamber of Mines
Mining industry overview
In the 46 years of its existence, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia has grown to a membership of 112 members (as at 4 March, 2015) and represents the interests of all major mining and exploration companies active in the country.
Namibia is a world-class producer of gem quality rough diamonds, uranium oxide, special high-grade zinc, gold bullion, blister copper, and lead concentrate as well a salt and dimension stone. A number of world-class companies using state-of-the-art mining and processing technologies are members of the Chamber. Rio Tinto plc and Vedanta plc mining companies, produce uranium oxide at Rossing mine and special high-grade zinc at the Skorpion mine and refinery respectively. Paladin Energy's Langer Heinrich Uranium mine is in full production and achieved nameplate production sustainably in 2013.
The world's number one diamond producer, De Beers, works with the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) through Namdeb Holdings in a 50:50 joint venture, producing some of the world's finest gem diamonds. Namdeb's output increasingly comes from under the sea, thanks to the technical expertise of Debmarine Namibia. Further value addition is boosted by about 11 diamond cutting and manufacturing factories that utilise about 16 percent of diamond production by Namdeb Holdings.
QKR Namibia produces gold bullion at Navachab Mine near Karibib. Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation produces zinc and lead concentrates at Rosh Pinah. Weatherly Mining Namibia operates the copper mines and Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb produces blister copper at the Tsumeb smelter, from imported copper concentrates.
The mining industry continues to make reinvestments into the sector, as evidenced by the commissioning of Namdeb’s Sendelingsdrif mine and their state of the art sorting facility, the new Red Area Complex on 7 November, 2014. Furthermore, Vedanta announced its decision to convert the Skorpion zinc refinery to process zinc sulphide concentrates at an investment of N$1.6 billion.
New Mines & Development Projects
The development of the new mines continue to reach significant milestones, with two of them already in production. B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine produced their first kilogram of gold on 11 December, 2014 and are set to ramp up to full production towards the end of 2015. Weatherly’s Tschudi mine produced the first copper cathode in the history of Namibia in February 2015, paving the way for possible investment in further down-stream value addition activities.
The construction of Swakop Uranium’s Husab mine remains on track and is expected to come into to production at the end of 2016, with ramp up to full production at the end of 2017.
Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb (DPMT), which owns Namibia’s copper smelter, is constructing a sulphuric acid plant that will utilise off-gases from the smelter operations to produce sulphuric acid. The plant is scheduled to come into production in July 2015 and will produce 340,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid per annum. Through offtake agreements with Rössing and Tschudi, DPMT has already committed to sell the planned production to these two mines. This positive development verifies that when the mining industry grows, the up-stream and services sector also expands, through which spin-offs are created in other sectors of the Namibian economy.
In the second half of 2014, Craton Mining & Exploration and Lodestone Namibia received mining licences to develop the Omitiomire copper oxide and Dordabis iron ore projects respectively.
Mining Industry Performance in 2014
Gross Domestic Product
Preliminary statistics produced from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show that the mining sector made a direct contribution of 13% to GDP in 2014, up from 12.6% in 2013. It must be noted that the National Accounts have created new categories for mining, namely; diamonds; uranium; metal ores and other mining and quarrying. Previously, mining consisted of two categories; diamonds and other mining. In real terms, the mining industry contracted by 4.6 percent. This contraction is as a result of reduced output from the mining sector during the year, particularly for uranium.
Commodity prices remained subdued during 2014.Uranium prices bottomed out at U$28.5/lb towards the end of June 2014. The depressed market caused uranium mines to scale back on production, resulting in a reduction of yellow cake output.
Once again, the diamond sub sector flourished posting a growth of 11.1 percent in real value added and posted record production levels. This growth was not enough to offset the contractions posted by uranium and other mining and quarrying, which contracted by 9.9 percent and 42.7 percent respectively.
The Chamber is confident, however, that the industry will indeed expand within the next five years, with B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine already in production, and the scheduled start-ups of the Husab and Tschudi mines. The Chamber predicts that the direct contribution by mining will increase to 17% by 2017/18.
Chamber statistics show that Namibia’s mining industry generated a revenue of N$21.61 billion in 2014, a 3.25 percent increase from 2013 which totalled N$20.93 billion. Total revenue from non-diamond mining reached N$ 10.76 billion, which includes revenue from zinc refining and diamond mining earned N$10.87 billion.
It needs to be noted, that although the mining sector contracted in real terms, significant investments by the industry continued to occur in 2014. Chamber statistics show that fixed investment doubled from N$8.5 billion in 2013 to N$17.26 billion in 2014. Of this, Swakop Uranium injected approximately N$11 billion into the Namibian economy, which equates to 7.5 percent of Namibia’s nominal GDP. The development of three new mines in Namibia has produced significant economic gains, through job creation and the procurement of local goods and services.
At the end of 2014, Chamber members directly employed 7,903 permanent employees, 947 temporary employees and 8,920 contractors. These Chamber members collectively paid out more than N$3.46 billion in wages and salaries during the course of last year.
Chamber members spent some N$93.8 million on skills development in 2014, an increase of 60% from the N$58.5 million spent in 2013. They also awarded a total of 40 new bursaries in 2014 for tertiary education at institutions in Namibia and South Africa, as well as vocational training at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT).
In 2014/15 the Ministry of Finance (MoF) received profits taxes from the mining industry totalling N$1.97 billion from diamond mining and N$71.2 million from other mining according to their preliminary figures. Diamond royalty tax contributed N$734.8 million and royalties from other minerals provided N$117.4 million to the fiscus. Total revenue received from mining in 2014/15 amounted to N$3.6 billion, a significant increase from the N$1.45 billion collected in the previous financial year. According to statistics produced by the Chamber of Mines, in 2014 the mining industry paid out a total of N$3.39 billion in corporate taxes and royalties, a 22.8 percent increase from the 2013 total of N$2.76 billion.