Namibia pushes for long-term benefits from mineral resources

March 23, 2023

The Namibian government has intensified its efforts to capitalise on the upcoming oil and gas sector activities and current mining operations.

The government aims to use mineral resources to create long-lasting effects for future generations.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement event hosted by Debmarine Namibia, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, emphasised the need for quick action to produce long-lasting effects from mineral resources, including diamonds and oil.

"For all of these years, lean years, when we get all of this revenue, what do we do with it? It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we at least utilise these resources in such a way that future generations can look back and say, yes, Namibia did have diamonds, and those diamonds have yielded positive results, when they are no longer there," he said.

Alweendo stated that when licences are granted, the government ensures that opportunities for job creation and infrastructure development are included in the provisions. 

"When they ask us what we did with the diamonds, there should be something we can point to and say, we got the revenue, billions of dollars from diamonds, and we built schools, hospitals, and educated our people. This is what we need to optimise from all of our minerals," he said.

He added that mineral resources are a gift of life, but they are commodities that are demanded and available globally rather than something that Namibia only provides, thus, business must be conducted efficiently or they will lose value quickly.

"We need to make sure that we treat diamonds as a special commodity and we also need to take cognisance of the fact that diamonds, just like any other minerals, are finite and [mining] does not go one forever," he said.

Similarly, President Hage Geingob last week revealed that his government is taking into consideration the advice of Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi to seek a greater revenue share from diamonds sold to De Beers.

According to the National Petroleum Company of Namibia (NAMCOR), the country’s two oil finds have the potential to generate US$5.6 billion in revenue at peak production, which could double Namibia’s economy estimated at US$11 billion by 2040, as per Bloomberg estimates.

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Last modified on Friday, 24 March 2023 17:16

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