Phosphate’s role in industrialisation
Lobby group Swakopmund Matters recently came out strongly against an article that appeared in the Chamber of Mines of Namibia quarterly newsletter about Namibia Phosphates’ intention of constructing a phosphate plant at Lüderitz.
The lobby group claims that the article headline “Phosphate Mining – Key to Namibia’s Industrialisation” is one-sided and it alleged that many points are misleading.
“[The article] is very one-sided. It mainly focuses on Lev Leviev Namibia Phosphates in Lüderitz as if no other companies are also not attempting to be involved in phosphate mining,” said Swakopmund Matters in an email. Swakopmund Matters further said that Namibia Phosphates’ N$8 billion investment which it believes will revitalise the Karas Region borders on the absurd. “To state that Lev Leviev NP’s project at a cost of N$8 billion has the potential to revitalise and support Lüderitz and the Karas region for generations borders on the absurd. Many other contentious points are also floated with the heading so misleading and far-fetched.” “One expects sounder observations and comment from a publication that is supposed to carry weight as an official mouthpiece of an important institution like the Chamber of Mines of Namibia,” said Swakopmund Matters.
In April 2014, Bloomberg reported that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources had given the go-ahead for the construction of an N$800 million phosphate processing plant. This came at the time when an 18-month moratorium was placed on phosphate mining in Namibian waters. The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and Sintef were tasked to carry out a study on the impact of phosphate mining. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources spokesperson, Charlie Matengu was quoted at the time as saying, “Our support is on the basis that Lev Leviev had already acquired most of the machinery worth millions needed to conduct such activities, and therefore our ministry also feels that they should be allowed to proceed.”