The Chamber of Mines of Namibia has expressed its support for the government’s decision to prohibit the export of certain minerals in unprocessed form.
The minerals affected by the ban include lithium ore, cobalt, manganese, graphite and rare earth elements.
However, smaller quantities of these minerals may be allowed for export at the discretion of the minister of mines and energy, with the endorsement of the Cabinet.
In a media statement issued on Monday, the chamber’s chief executive, Veston Malango, said it is in favour of local value addition to all minerals produced in Namibia as it believes this will stimulate economic growth and job creation.
“It is necessary for the government to control and regulate the export of unprocessed critical minerals to support job creation and grow the economy in line with the African mining vision,” he said.
Malango added that chamber members have raised concerns about potential delays in work done by companies that intend to set up mining and operational facilities.
“The chamber is concerned that the requirement for an endorsement by Cabinet on exports of ore in small quantities may unintentionally delay genuine test work being carried out by chamber members for purposes of critical metallurgical test work required in the design of the much-needed processing plants in Namibia,” said Malango.
He added that the chamber plans to engage proactively with the minister of mines and energy to address any unreasonable delays in the export of minerals for test purposes.
Chamber of Mines president Zebra Kasete gave an assurance that the Cabinet directive will not immediately impact the future plans of chamber members, as they already have plans to add value to critical minerals locally, at least up to the concentration level.
“The chamber will proactively engage the government to collectively identify processing and value addition opportunities for Namibia’s critical minerals, and what enablers are necessary to make Namibia an attractive destination for investment into value addition opportunities,” said Kasete.