1 Sep 2023
Namibia's Chamber of Mines (CoM) has once again hosted a successful conference on 30 and 31 August 2023 for the mining sector at the expo with over 150 exhibitors and seats fully booked for the presentations and podium discussions.
Mining is the largest contributor to Namibia's economy and the country's exports. Apart from uranium, copper and gold mines, lithium is the news buzz word as well as graphite which will soon be exploited through the development of new mines for these two resources.
The Namibian government has confirmed its stance that investors in the mining sector would find open doors in Namibia but that local value addition of minerals should become a focal point.
"We have learnt valuable lessons from history that nations, which export their products in unprocessed forms at cheaper prices and buy back finished products at higher prices are not able to develop their economies to the extent required for shared wealth and development among their citizens," noted President Hage Geingob, whose speech was read by Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba at the opening.
"We have made it clear to these interested parties and potential others that Namibia will only do business with stakeholders who share its vision of local value addition to our minerals to produce finished products for export," according to Geingob.
The government recently banned the export of unprocessed crushed lithium ore, cobalt, manganese, graphite, and rare earth minerals in order to ensure local beneficiation and value addition.
This spurred suggestions to establish a lithium battery factory in Namibia, as soon as lithium is mined.
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo told the conference delegates that in future “raw minerals shall not be exported without value, and we shall press towards being processed into final products.”
"What is surprising is some of the developed countries accuse us of resource nationalisation. What is more troubling, such sentiments are coming from those who claim to want to help to develop developing countries. This attitude of forcing us is a total concern of disregarding the economic situation of our livelihood and that shall not be accepted, and we shall not heed to it,” Alweendo stated.
A representative of the embassy of the European Union, Gosia Lachut said the EU concluded a strategic partnership with Namibia on sustainable raw materials and renewable hydrogen in November 2022.
“We are working with the private sector and industry associations, to identify and promote cooperation in exploration and commercial development of critical raw materials projects (like lithium) in Namibia,” Lachut said.
“In this context, we are trying to link Namibian companies to EU potential investors and off-takers through the cooperation with the European Raw Material Alliance and the European Battery Alliance, which unite EU companies along the entire raw materials value chain.”
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