Mining 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’s Rössing mine has been in production since 1976 and is still one of the world’s major producers of uranium. Rio Tinto is currently finalising the sale of this mine to China National Uranium Corporation, a transaction that will sustain operations of the mine well into the foreseeable future. Namibia’s second uranium mine, the Husab mine which is owned by Swakop Uranium, recently came into production in 2016. This mega-scale operation is set to become the second largest uranium in the world once it reaches full operation capacity, with the ramp up of operations well underway.
The world's number one diamond producer, De Beers, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) through Namdeb Holdings, is producing some of the world's finest gem diamonds from land-based and offshore operations. Namdeb Holdings is the primary licence holder and is owned by De Beers and GRN through a 50% shareholding each. Through Namdeb Holdings, Namdeb is the operator for land-based diamond mines while Debmarine Namibia operates the offshore licences. Namibia’s land-based operations, some of which are over 100 years old, are gradually reaching their life of mines. However, Namibia’s diamond production is increasingly being mined off-shore due to pioneering technology employed by 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.
Namibia’s gold output is from QKR’s Navachab gold mine situated near Karibib and B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine that is located between Otjiwarongo and Otavi. The Navachab gold mine has been in operation since 1984, while the Otjikoto gold mine is one of Namibia’s newer operations that commenced with production in 2015 and has since trebled Namibia’s gold output.
The country is also a producer of base metals with Travali’s Rosh Pinah Zinc mine that produces zinc and lead concentrates as well as Vedanta’s Skorpion Zinc mine and refinery, producing Special High Grade Zinc as a final product. In accordance with its life of mine, the Skopion Zinc mine is scheduled to end operations by the end of 2020. However, there are currently two old smaller mines being redeveloped, the Namib Lead and Zinc mine and Afritin’s Uis mine which are scheduled to come into production in 2019.
Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb produces blister copper at the Tsumeb smelter, from imported copper concentrates. Namibia also produces LME grade Copper cathode from Weatherly Namibia’s Tschudi copper mine.