Namibia

Unity, Liberty, Justice

Minerals: Diamonds, gold, uranium, zinc, lead and copper.

Independence: 21 March 1990

Area:3825,615 square Kilometres

Mining fact: De Beers, known as the largest diamond company in the world, has bought most of the diamonds from Namibia and plans to continue doing so. It has a strong partnership with the local government.

Namibia is a s country in the southern part of Africa that shares borders with Angola, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa. Like many other African countries, Namibia is a top international producer of diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, and lead. Mining is the most important contributor to the economy and provides 25% of its total revenue. Namibia is the fourth-largest uranium producer in the world and the fourth-largest non-fuel mineral exporter in Africa.

History of Namibian Mining

Mining began in Namibia in 1851 when surface copper was mined and smelted to produce agricultural tools. In 1855, the Namibian mining industry formally gained a base in Walvis Bay. Diamond mining started in Lüderitz in 1908.

Diamond Mining in Namibia

Namdeb Holdings, which operates the country's land-based diamond mines, was formed after a partnership was created between De Beers and the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN). Some of these mines are over a century old and many are gradually reaching the end of their lifespans. However, this will not mean the end of diamond production in Namibia. Through Debmarine Namibia’s use of pioneering technology, the country’s diamonds are increasingly being mined offshore. In addition to land-based and offshore mining operations, Namibia also has 13 diamond cutting and manufacturing facilities.

Gold Mining in Namibia

Until 2015, gold in Namibia was primarily mined in Karibib at the Navachab mine, which has been operational since 1984. The Otijkoto gold mine began production in 2015 and has since increased Namibia’s gold output threefold. In 2020, Namibia Critical Metals began exploring the gold belt where these mines are located to assess the potential for gold deposits. The project is called Erongo and is one of three prospective gold projects for which Namibia Critical Metals is responsible.

Uranium Mining in Namibia

Formerly owned by Rio Tinto, the Rössing uranium mine has been in production since 1976. Now controlled by China National Uranium Corporation, Rössing continues to be one of the most significant producers of uranium in the world. In 2016, production commenced at the Husab mine. Once it reaches full operational capacity, this mine is set to become the world’s second-largest uranium producer.

Base Metals Mining in Namibia

High-grade zinc and lead concentrates are produced at several mines throughout Namibia. Blister copper is produced from imported copper concentrates, and LME grade copper cathode is produced from Weatherly Namibia’s Tschudi copper mine.

Mining Companies Operating in Namibia

Some of the most active mining companies operating in Namibia are Namdeb Holdings (of which 50% is owned by de Beers and 50% by the government of Namibia) and Debmarine Namibia. In addition, the mines most active for the country's production are QKR’s Navachab gold mine, B2Gold’s Otijkoto gold mine, Swakop Uranium’s Husab uranium mine, China National Uranium Corporation’s Rössing uranium mine, Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb, Travali’s Rosh Pinah zinc mine, and the Tschudi Copper Mine.