Major Mines in Namibia
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 as salt and dimension stone. A number of world-renowned mining 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.
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 13 diamond cutting and manufacturing factories that utilise about 15 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. Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb produces blister copper at the Tsumeb smelter, from imported copper concentrates.
Three new mines have come into production over the last four years, reigning in over N$40 billion of fixed investments. These include the Swakop Uranium Husab mine, B2Gold's Otjikoto gold mine, and Weatherly’s Tschudi mine. The Otjikoto gold mine and the Tschudi mine are operating at full capacity, producing gold bullion and copper cathode respectively. The Husab uranium mine is expected to ramp up operations in 2019 and will become the world’s second largest uranium mine.
Updates, New Mines &
Following a spike in commodity prices in 2017, last year geo-political tensions between the United States and China as well as concerns over a slowing global economy have led to a drop in the prices of base metals and battery minerals. This resulted in two new operations being placed on care and maintenance. Following a long period of depressed uranium prices, Paladin placed its Langer Heinrich mine on care and maintenance in May 2018
There are currently two old mines being redeveloped, the Namib Lead and Zinc mine and Afritin’s Uis mine, both of which are scheduled to enter production in the first quarter of 2019. Furthermore, construction of the Whale Rock Cement plant is complete and the operation has started mining limestone from the adjacent deposit, to use in cement production. Desert Lion Energy is also raising financing to develop a lithium mine just outside Karibib.
An improving uranium market bodes well for the development of prominent uranium projects such as Bannerman’s Etango deposit, the Zhonghe Resources project, Valencia Uranium’s Norasa deposit, Reptile Uranium’s Tubas and Tumas projects and the possible restart of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine.