LPM calls for suspension of Uis lithium mining

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has suggested that a moratorium be effected on the mining of lithium that is happening at Uis in the Erongo Region until such a time the total value of the rare-earth mineral has been determined.

This, according to LPM's second-in-command Henny Seibeb, will help the nation do a conscious resource and developmental planning, and also how to invest in the community.

As it stands, Seibeb is of the opinion that grassroots community members in which these minerals are found are not leveraging much, because they are allegedly cheated and coerced by investors including government officials and traditional authority. This comes following reports that there are foreign companies who are illegally mining lithium. 

"We must therefore impose a moratorium in the lithium industry and do what is correct; determine the value of our lithium and undertake practical steps towards value-addition by establishing a community owned lithium factory in Uis, with 60% shares," he suggested.

"To add value, Namibia needs to take advantage of the current high mineral prices, which are likely to continue for the next few decades, as long as China and India continue to experience robust growth. This is an opportunity to use our finite mineral resources to catalyse economic growth and development at the national level, by maximising the economic linkages."

He further proposes that there is an urgent need to create jobs in an effort to reduce unemployment and poverty, however, much needs to be done through value addition, thus there is also a need to conduct an investigation to see how viable such strategies can be especially in rural areas.

"Covid-19 has accelerated this vacuum. We have, both at national, regional council and local authority’s level failed to create massive jobs and this has led to increasing discomfort. With the inability of the Namibian economy to grow at a pace capable of absorbing the unemployed workforce. Therefore, let’s implement alternative growth strategies and create what LPM terms as social democratic development state," he said. 

Namibia in November last year inked a deal with the EU which will ensure the trade bloc’s access to the country's rare earth metals to power the global transition to green energy.

As the auto industry shifts towards electric vehicles – spurred by proposed bans on fossil-fuel cars beginning at the end of the decade – lithium prices and demand have soared.



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Last modified on Monday, 10 April 2023 21:11

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