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Mining industry needs to periodically review mineral licensing legal framework to encourage investors – minister

Mining industry needs to periodically review mineral licensing legal framework to encourage investors – minister

Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo recently said in order to attract more investment in the mining sector, the industry has to periodically review mineral licensing legal framework.

Speaking at a Debmarine Stakeholder event, Alweendo said it is self-defeating when impractical licensing conditions are imposed; or when policies are unpredictable thereby creating policy uncertainties.

Alweendo stressed that it is necessary to do away with all these roadblocks in order to ensure that the country continues to be competitive in attracting investment, both local and foreign.

“For example, it is not helpful when it takes an inordinate long time for us to finalize the processing of licensing applications,” Alweendo added.

The minister said the Namibia has to do everything possible to attract investment in mineral exploration, adding that without exploration, no new mines can be discovered.

“We also know that exploration is a high risk investment. When you invest in mineral exploration there is no guarantee that you will discover minerals. It is estimated that the chances that an exploration will lead to a successful mining operation is 1:1000 and the lead time can be as long as ten to twenty years,” he added.

Alweendo further noted the importance of understanding the country’s mineral potential, saying that there is a need to have knowledge of what minerals are available.

Alweendo stressed that more invest in a comprehensive geological mapping should be encouraged.

“Without an improved geological mapping, it will rather be difficult to attract investment for mineral exploration. Fortunately the emerging geological mapping technology has made it possible to obtain accurate mineral resource assessment,” Alweendo said.

Furthermore, he added that the mining sector will continue to be an important contributor to the economy, but only if new mines are discovered. “This is so because given the non-renewable nature of minerals, the existing mines will come to a closure,” he said.


 

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.