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Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals

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Last week, the Namibian Cabinet approved a decision to prohibit the export of certain critical minerals including unprocessed crushed lithium ore, cobalt, manganese, graphite and rare earth elements. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals

Although the Chamber of Mines of Namibia supports the Namibian government’s recent decision to prohibit the export of certain critical minerals, the Chamber is concerned about the requirement for an endorsement by Cabinet on the exports of ore in small quantities.      

According to Veston Malango, CEO of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, this decision could unintentionally delay 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.

“The Chamber intends to proactively engage the Minister of Mines and Energy so that exports of minerals for such purposes should not be unreasonably delayed,” says Malango.

Last week, the Namibian Cabinet approved a decision to prohibit the export of certain critical minerals including unprocessed crushed lithium ore, cobalt, manganese, graphite and rare earth elements.

In addition, cabinet approved another decision that smaller quantities of the above mentioned minerals may be allowed for export only at the discretion of the Minister of Mines and Energy subject to Cabinet endorsement.

In support of value addition (Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals)

In a statement the Chamber said that it wholeheartedly supports local value addition to all minerals produced in Namibia to grow the economy and create jobs.

“The Chamber welcomes the Cabinet decision on the understanding that Cabinet is referring to the ban on the export of mineral ores, meaning ores of all the minerals mentioned in the Cabinet decision,” says Malango.

“It is necessary for 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,” Malango adds.

The processing and value addition to all minerals, inclusive of critical minerals, is a widely held narrative in Namibia.

Malango says that the Chamber of Mines recognises that the intention of this directive is to ensure that Namibia does not lose out on any potential local value addition.

No repercussions on future plans (Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals)

“The measures taken by Government do not inhibit the valuable work being done by companies in Namibia, that intend to establish mining operations and processing facilities.”

Chamber of Mines President, Zebra Kasete reiterates that the cabinet directive will not have any immediate repercussions on the future plans of Chamber members.

“All our members have plans to add value locally to the critical minerals at least to the concentrate level and retain jobs in Namibia.

“The Chamber will proactively engage 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,” says Kasete.

Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals

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Namibia’s Chamber concerned about testing critical minerals


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