Welcome to the Chamber of Mines

Mining industry overview

In the 43 years of its existence, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia has grown to a membership of 106 members (as at May 21, 2013) and represents the interests of all the major mining and exploration companies active in the country.

 

Major Mines

Namibia is a world-class producer of gem quality rough diamonds, uranium oxide, special high-grade zinc and acid-grade fluorspar, as well as a producer of gold bullion, blister copper, lead concentrate, 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 including the commissioning of the phase 3 expansion project. Swakop Uranium is constructing the Husab uranium project which is billed to become the second largest uranium mine in the World. Construction of Husab project will turn Namibia into a major World producer of uranium oxide.

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 17 diamond cutting and manufacturing factories that utilise about 16 percent of diamond production by Namdeb Holdings.

AngloGold Ashanti produces gold bullion at Navachab Mine near Karibib. B2Gold is constructing Namibia's second gold mine, the Otjikoto gold project, situated between Otjiwarongo and Otavi. 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.

Okorusu Fluorspar, owned by European chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics Solvay, is one of the world's largest producers of acid-grade fluorspar.

 

Mining Industry Performance in 2012

Gross Domestic Product

Preliminary statistics produced from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show that the mining sector contributed 11.5 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012, up from 8.2 percent in 2011. The contribution of mining to GDP was the highest recorded since 2008. This indicates that the mining industry is on its way to recovery after three years of stagnant growth caused by global economic pressures. Namibia’s mining sector generated N$12.09 billion of value added towards the country’s GDP. Diamond mining delivered N$8.97 billion of value added, while other mining and quarrying contributed N$3.1 billion to GDP. However, if copper smelting and zinc refining were also included, the value added by other mining and quarrying would have been significantly greater, as well as the overall contribution to GDP by the mining sector.

Chamber statistics show that Namibia’s mining industry generated revenue of N$18.52 billion in 2012, a 17 percent increase from 2011 which totalled N$15.8 billion. Total revenue from non-diamond mining reached N$11.437 billion, which includes revenue from zinc refining, and diamond mining earned N$7.08 billion.

 

Exports

Exports from the mining sector reached N$15.7 billion to which must be added exports of blister copper and refined zinc, giving a grand total of N$18.5 billion in 2012. Mineral exports accounted 41 percent of total, according to the NSA. However, this figure seems to be much lower than the average of 55 percent over the last few years.

 

Fixed Investment

The mining sector spent N$3.8 billion on fixed investment in 2012 and once again contributed more than any other sector of the economy, except for Government which spent N$4.1 billion on fixed investment.

 

Statistics generated by the Chamber of Mines also indicated that exploration is on the rise. Exploration expenditure for 2012 totalled N$815 million, an 8 percent increase from 2011 amounting to N$752 million.

 

Employment

At the end of 2012, Chamber members directly employed 7,898 permanent employees, 474 temporary employees and 5,176 contractors. These Chamber members collectively paid out more than N$2.93 billion in wages and salaries during the course of 2012.

 

Skills

Chamber members spent some N$77.7 million on skills development and awarded a total of 82 new bursaries in 2012 for tertiary education at institutions in Namibia and South Africa, as well as vocational training at the Namibia NIMT. Despite some of the economic challenges faced by Namibia’s mining sector during 2012, mining companies continued to invest heavily in people.

 

Taxation

In 2011/12 (the latest year for which actual revenue as opposed to budget estimates are available), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) estimated that tax revenue from profits taxes on the mining industry amounted to N$840.7million from diamond mining and N$10.2 million from other mining. Diamond royalty tax contributed N$631.6 million and other mineral royalties N$ 305.4 million to government revenue. The total revenue received from mining in 2011/12 amounted to N$2.65 billion a significant increase from 2010/11. According to statistics produced by the Chamber of Mines, in 2012 the mining industry paid out a total of N$2.08 billion in taxes and royalties, a 19 percent increase from the 2011 total of N$1.75 billion.