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Mining industry plays vital role in economy

The Chamber of Mines of Namibia is hosting its third stakeholder meeting on the importance of mining to the Namibian economy on Friday, 20 April 2012. The meeting will focus specifically on uranium mining.
A presentation which is themed “Mining Industry: what does it really mean for the Namibian economy”, will be presented at the meeting which will take place at the Namib Primary School in Swakopmund.
According to Signa Ndombo of the Chamber of Mines, this will be the third stakeholders presentation. The previous two were held in Windhoek in 2011.
The fourth presentation will likely be held in the South, Ndombo said. The presentation will cover issues relating to the mining industry such as value added tax and the amount of money the mining industry contributes to the gross domestic product of the economy.
The latest available figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that the Namibian Mining sector generated N$7.7 billion of the value added in 2009, thus contributing 10.0% towards the gross domestic product which stood at N$ 77.8 billion in that same year. Exports from the mining sector reached N$10.9 billion and mineral-related exports accounted for 44% of Namibia’s total merchandise exports in the year 2009.
A shortage of uranium for existing and proposed nuclear power utilities around the world was predicted to impact supply from around 2010 to 2012, resulting in an interest in uranium. Namibia, being the world’s fourth largest uranium producer, is geared to benefit from its extensive deposits of low-grade uranium and is now regarded as a region of global importance because of its energy source. In August 2010, the Chamber of Mines’ Uranium Institute was launched and its main role is to implement best practice standards, to protect and promote the Namibian uranium brand and co-ordinate occupational health, radiological safety and environmental management issues.
A 2010/2011 review report by Dr Wotan Swiegers, director of the Chamber of Mines’ Uranium Institute, states that one of the key objectives of the Uranium Stewardship Committee (USC) is to enhance social and economic development by seeking opportunities to address poverty. Prospecting and exploration for new mining projects are essential activities of the Chamber of Mines in order to ensure the future sustainability of the mining industry.
One of the identified projects – the Husab Uranium Project which is being developed by Swakop Uranium and is expected to commence production in 2014 and is expected to be the world’s  third largest uranium mine. The project is invested at an estimated price of N$12 billion. Other exploration uranium companies include the Australian owned, Reptile Uranium Namibia which has Ongolo Uranium and Shiyela Iron Projects.

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