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Miner looks for investors

Rudolf Kamburona, Director of Omuhuka Diamond Exploration Company

Rudolf Kamburona, Director of Omuhuka Diamond Exploration Company

The lack of funding for small scale miners is hindering progress in the sector according to Rudolf Kamburona, Director of Omuhuka Diamond Exploration.
“There is a lot of potential, but money to invest in order to discover these minerals is a huge challenge,” Kamburona told the Economist this week.
The former Member of Parliament turned farmer started his own mining exploration company in 2007.
“After the mineral resources were nationalised in Namibia and people were encouraged to apply for EPLs. I also applied for a license and was fortunate enough to be granted an EPL in an area of rich mineral resources,” he says.
EPL 3788 was granted to Omuhuka Diamond Exploration for a period of three years for the exclusive exploration of precious stones, precious metals, industrial minerals, semi-precious stones, base and rare metals.
The area is located in the Sperrgebiet area, 180km north of Oranjemund town, an area which has been restricted since the discovery of the first diamond in Namibia.
Kamburona says their focus is on diamonds due to the proven presence of diamonds in the area. “Rich diamond deposits have been mined along the Sperrgebiet coast, and we know that there are minerals in the area,” he says confidently.
Although there are substantial mineral deposits within the area, Kamburona says finding investors is problematic.
“To run a mine is very expensive; the purchasing and maintenance of machinery is very expensive. What we see with many of the foreign investors is that they take local mine owners’ licenses and exploit them, selling them on their Stock Exchanges for millions of dollars.”
A concerned Kamburona urged fellow EPL owners to be vigilant of such investors as they do not have the nation’s interest at heart.
“The idea is to benefit from the natural resources, for self-empowerment which leads to economic growth and a higher GDP.
“This opportunity was previously denied to us, but now we have the chance to enrich ourselves as Namibians, from our own resources and give back what we get from the EPL.”
Although it has proved challenging to find investors, especially foreign investors, due to the economic recession being experienced in Europe, Kamburona remains hopeful.
He hopes to improve the livelihoods of other disadvantaged citizens by providing employment as well as career opportunities with initiatives such as social grants.

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