Mining charter in progress
Transformation in the mining industry may well be immanent but details surrounding the charter are being kept under wraps. Upon enquiry, The Economist established that the charter needs to be signed-off, suggesting perhaps that a consensus will need to be reached amongst the various stakeholders involved.
Said Chamber of Mines of Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Veston Malango: “It is not yet a public document. We can not therefore discuss the contents of the charter. We will be getting ahead of ourselves,” in a telephonic conversation.
Government has mooted the idea of a charter as far back as 2009 primarily to increase the ownership of mines by previously disadvantaged Namibians.
Through its mining arm Epangelo, the government has been making inroads into the industry following a decision adopted by cabinet to award Epangelo strategic mineral rights. Under the arrangements, Epangelo holds the sole rights to prospect and mine what it deems strategic minerals. As at 2013, Epangelo held 39 exploratory licences in the country.
South Africa adopted a mining charter in 2004 aimed at achieving amongst others; equitable access to the nation’s resources, promotion of beneficiation of South Africa’s mineral commodities, and the promotion of employment and advancement of the social and economic welfare of mining communities and the areas from where migrant labour originates.