Welcome to the Chamber of Mines
Mining industry overview
In the 44 years of its existence, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia has grown to a membership of 104 members (as at 31 December, 2013) 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 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 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 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. 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.
New Mines & Development Projects
Despite depressed commodity prices, particularly for uranium, the development of new mines continued throughout 2013 in Namibia.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the Swakop Uranium Husab mine was held on 18 April 2013, which is set to become the world’s second largest producer of uranium oxide. The construction of the mine remains on track and is scheduled to commence production in early 2016 with ramp up to full production in 2017.
B2Gold held the Ground breaking ceremony for the Otjikoto gold mine on 26 April 2013. Construction of the mine is planned to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014, with ramp up to full production in 2015. Once in full production, Namibia is set to become Africa’s seventh or eighth largest gold producer.
Weatherly International, the London based parent entity of Weatherly Mining Namibia, held the ground breaking ceremony for the Tschudi copper mine on 8 November, 2013. This mine is being constructed at an investment of N$900 million and marks another mile stone in Namibia’s mining industry as refined copper will be produced for the first time in the history of Namibia.
In addition, Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb held its ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the 350,000 tonnes per annum sulphuric acid plant in September 2013, at an investment of N$2.3 billion. The plant is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2014 and will supply sulphuric acid to the local market.
Namdeb also plans to commission another mine at Sendelingsdrif during the course of 2014.
Mining Industry Performance in 2013
Gross Domestic Product
Preliminary statistics produced from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show that the mining sector performed moderately well in 2013 and contributed 9.3 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, down from 10.8 percent in 2012. The decline in contribution to GDP was largely a result of escalating input costs, depressed commodity prices and declining ore grades.
Despite the decline in overall contribution by mining in 2013, significant investments were made, particularly in the development of three new mines – the Otjikoto Gold mine, Husab Uranium mine and the Tschudi Copper mine. Namdeb developed the new Sendelingsdrif diamond mine along the Orange river and Debmarine achieved a record high diamond production as a result of massive capital investments in the new mining vessel, the MV Mafuta. As such, economic spin offs and growth contributions from the new developing mines were most notably seen in the construction phase with massive job creation and procurement of goods and services from Namibian suppliers and contractors.
Namibia’s mining sector generated N$11.3 billion of value added towards the country’s GDP. Diamond mining delivered N$8.23 billion of value added, while other mining and quarrying contributed N$3.07 billion to GDP.
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 a revenue of N$20.93 billion in 2013, a 13 percent increase from 2012 which totalled N$18.51 billion. Total revenue from non-diamond mining reached N$ 11.89 billion, which includes revenue from zinc refining and diamond mining earned N$ 9.04 billion.
According to preliminary figures released by the NSA in March 2014, exports from the mining sector reached N$ 20.87 billion to which must be added exports of copper and refined zinc, giving a grand total of N$ 25.2 billion in 2013. Mineral exports accounted 53% percent of total merchandise exports.
The mining sector spent N$13.17 billion on fixed investment in 2013 and once again contributed more than any other sector of the economy, except for Government which spent N$5.27 billion on fixed investment during the period under review. The huge contribution made by the mining industry highlights the positive economic impacts on the Namibian economy through the development of new mines.
Statistics generated by the Chamber of Mines shows a drop in exploration expenditure of 15%, from N$815 million in 2012 to N$662 million in 2013. The significant decrease in exploration expenditure was as a result of the shift from exploration to mine development for several projects as outlined above and depressed commodity markets which saw exploration budgets severely curtailed, particularly for uranium projects.
At the end of 2013, Chamber members directly employed 7,582 permanent employees, 909 temporary employees and 8,218 contractors. These Chamber members collectively paid out more than N$3.1 billion in wages and salaries during the course of last year.
Chamber members spent some N$58.5 million on skills development and awarded a total of 67 new bursaries in 2013 for tertiary education at institutions in Namibia and South Africa, as well as vocational training at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT). Despite some of the economic challenges faced by Namibia’s mining sector during 2013, mining companies continued to invest heavily in people.
In 2012/13 (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 approximately N$1 billion from diamond mining and N$16.8 million from other mining. Diamond royalty tax contributed N$679 million and royalties from other minerals provided N$183.2 million to government revenue. The total revenue received from mining in 2012/13 amounted to N$2.383 billion, a slight decrease from the 2011/12 financial year. According to statistics produced by the Chamber of Mines, in 2013 the mining industry paid out a total of N$ 2.76 billion in corporate taxes and royalties, a 33 percent increase from the 2012 total of N$2.08 billion.