The Otjikoto Gold Mine near Otjiwarongo was officially commissioned by H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob early last week. The mine is 90% owned and operated by B2Gold, a Vancouver based gold producer with four mines around the world and 10% EVI Mining, a Namibian-owned, broad-based economic empowerment group.
Dr. Leake Hangala, Chairman of B2Gold Namibia, said that some two years ago he stood at the same place and spoke in the language of optimism and promise. “Today I speak in the language of pride and delivery – delivery of a source of fresh jobs and economic development for our country; delivery of a balanced partnership between Namibians and foreign investors that can stand proudly as a model for others.”
B2Gold will have invested over N$4 billion into the Otjikoto mine by the time the capital construction projects have been completed by the end of August this year. It currently provides employment for more than 700 people.
During the peak of construction, more than 1000 people were employed. The mine is expected to generate in excess of N$2 billion annually, making it one of the largest foreign currency earners in the country.
In his keynote address, H.E Dr. Geingob, expressed his delight at officiating at the opening of the Otjikoto Mine, his first event of this nature as President. “Just like my ascendency to the Presidency, the Otjikoto Project has come to fruition after several years of extensive groundwork.”
Geingob said that the Otjikoto Mine symbolized yet another step forward in Namibia’s drive towards attracting investment, which would feed the ultimate goal of sustained economic growth, job creation, wealth distribution and economic emancipation. It was also another endorsement on the work that Government had done to create a conducive environment for doing business.
He added that it went beyond creating a conducive business environment as the continued injection of FDI into Namibia’s economy was also a recognition of the manner in which the country was governed and the manner in which its economy was managed.
The President then congratulated Clive Johnson as well as the entire management and staff of B2Gold for the many obstacles they overcame in order to bring this huge project from a dream to a reality and was glad to note that the B2 Gold, through the Otjikoto Gold project had contributed extensively to employment and human capital development, one of the many positive spinoffs from the project.