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Diamond sector faces challenges amid global lag – Alweendo

Diamond sector faces challenges amid global lag – Alweendo

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, shed light on the hurdles encountered by the diamond sector during a budget motivational speech to Parliament on Monday.

Alweendo highlighted that the demand for unpolished diamonds in major markets such as India and China has witnessed a slowdown, resulting in downward pressure on prices.

Moreover, he expressed concern over a potential risk posed by the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

“We are also faced with a potential risk where the G7 countries require that all rough and polished diamonds destined for their markets be routed through Antwerp, Belgium,” he stated.

Alweendo emphasized apprehensions that such a mandate could restrict Namibia’s export avenues, escalate costs, and undermine competitiveness in the global diamond market.

Namibia is actively engaging with the G7 countries to reconsider their decision, underlining the necessity of maintaining flexibility in diamond exports, he added.

However, Alweendo pointed out positive developments in the local mining sector amid these challenges.

He highlighted a surge in investment in exploration and mining activities in the country. “This is due to an increase in demand and prices for commodities such as uranium, gold, and lithium,” he remarked.

Alweendo noted that various mining license holders, including Osino Resources, Bannerman Mining Resources, and Reptile Uranium, are in preparatory phases for construction, signaling growth prospects in the sector.

The government’s prioritization of in-country value addition for critical minerals like lithium before exportation was also underscored by Alweendo.

He stressed the importance of industrialization leveraging natural resources and ongoing endeavors to enhance systems and processes to achieve policy objectives.

Meanwhile, Alweendo said Namibia’s proactive stance on the international stage was highlighted by its role as a founding member of the Minerals Security Partnership Forum.

This platform facilitates discussions between mineral resource-rich and resource-poor countries on supply chains for critical minerals, essential for global industry decarbonization efforts.

The significance of Namibia’s mining sector was reiterated by Alweendo, noting that for the 2022/23 financial year, the sector contributed more than N$3 billion to the national treasury.


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