Sustainable Development

Chamber Initiatives Towards Sustainable Development

The Chamber of Mines subscribes to the principles of sustainable development as it views this as crucial in securing and maintaining a ‘social licence to operate’ for mining companies to operate within their communities. It is thus essential to integrate environmental, economic and social aspects in all phases of mineral production. The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) interprets sustainable development for the mining and metals sector as investments that are technically appropriate, environmentally sound, financially profitable and socially responsible.

Joint CSR Initiatives

In 2017, the Council of the Chamber approved a concept to invest in offsets in the non-mining regions of Namibia. This follows a strategic objective to broaden the sector’s footprint in social and economic development beyond the areas in which it operates. To achieve this, it was proposed that Chamber members collectively contribute to projects delivering long-term socio-economic benefits in non-mining areas.
With guidance and assistance from the Namibian Chamber of Environment, the Environmental and Social committee identified two projects that required support. The first project involved electrification of the Lubuta and Sachina villages in the Mashi conservancy in the Zambezi Region, while the second project provided affordable serviced land to the poor in Oshakati through the Shack Dwellers Federation. This initiative is administered in partnership with the Namibia Chamber of Environment (NCE), and Chamber of Mines members collectively contributed a total of N$1,325,939 to the two initial projects.

Critical Team Members:
Charles Loots, General Manager and Director, B2Gold Namibia

Dr. Chris Brown, CEO, Namibian Chamber of Environment

Best Practice Guide

A major achievement of the Environmental and Social Committee is the publication of the industry’s very own Best Practice Guide on Environmental Principles for Mining in Namibia. The guide is the first of its kind to be produced by any sector in Namibia, and its curation involved collaborative input from industry, government and the environmental civil society. In partnership with the Chamber of Mines, the guide was jointly compiled by the Namibian Chamber of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Tourism and authored by the Environmental Compliance Consultancy. The publication provides key information for industry practitioners and personnel on how environmental, social and economic aspects are best managed throughout the mining lifecycle.

Critical Team Members: Charles Loots, General Manager and Director, B2Gold Namibia, Dr Chris Brown, CEO, Namibian Chamber of Environment, Jessica Bezuidenhout, Director, Environmental Compliance Consultancy

Mine Closure Framework

A crucial aspect of sustainable practices in mining involves comprehensive planning that facilitates a smooth transition to closure once the operation reaches the end of its life of mine. This transition should include rehabilitation of the mining site to mitigate environmental impacts, and socio-economic aspects to address the effects of mine closure on surrounding communities.
In 2010, the Chamber of Mines developed a Mine Closure Framework which provides fundamental guidelines in this process. The Ministry of Mines and Energy, with the assistance of the International Governance Forum, is in the process of developing a Mine Closure Framework that will be implemented at a national level.

Economic Transformation

The Chamber also advocates for sustainable development through mining at a national level. In support of this, and Government’s goal of economic transformation in Namibia, the industry, through the Chamber of Mines, has created its very own Mining Charter. The Mining Charter sets targets on social and economic pillars, with the overall objective to achieve meaningful and broad-based economic empowerment of Namibians in the mining sector.

At present, the Mining Charter is under review after an initial round of implementation.
Critical Team Member: Veston Malango, CEO, Chamber of Mines of Namibia

Regional and Continental Representation

At a regional level, the Chamber is actively involved in advocating for policies and legislation to promote sustainable development in mining. The Chamber of Mines of Namibia works closely with other Mining Chambers in the SADC region under the umbrella organisation the Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA). Through its representation on MIASA, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia also played a key role in establishing the Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa (ACMMAA). This continental body was created in Windhoek, October 2017, for the purpose of advancing, promoting, protecting and fostering Africa’s mining sectors.

Chamber representative: Veston Malango, CEO, Chamber of Mines of Namibia