Namibia pushes mining prospects at Cape Town indaba…as Alweendo calls for more investment into green hydrogen space

Home National Namibia pushes mining prospects at Cape Town indaba…as Alweendo calls for more investment into green hydrogen space

Namibia is showcasing the country’s investment opportunities in the mining sector at the 2023 Invest in African Mining Indaba.

 The event started on Monday, 6 February 2023, and will run until 9 tomorrow in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the opening on Monday at the Namibia pavilion, mines minister Tom Alweendo said: “There is a need to continue exploration in oil and gas. Especially when these energy minerals/resources have the potential to improve the livelihood of Namibians.” 

The minister added that the just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies must be flexible to all.

In its 28th year, the Cape Town event brings together industry leaders, investors, and government representatives to discuss the future of Africa’s mining sector.

At the event, Alweendo touched on green metals (aluminum, copper, lithium, silver and zinc etc.) and the need for Namibia to tap into these resources. He emphasised the importance that such ventures be done sustainably and with due care to the environment. He also mentioned the new expected engine of growth for Namibia, green hydrogen, and the need to attract more investors and partners in this new space.

“The future of the mining industry is increasingly being shaped by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) imperatives. We find it important for investors to invest in Namibia to form partnerships and become a part of the societies in which they mine,” he stated.

In return for access to mineral resources, Alweendo said it is only fair that Namibia demands more involvement, engagement and value sharing to protect mining communities in respect of their environmental, social and economic interests.

At this year’s indaba, Namibia is participating under the theme ‘Namibia: Securing Investments in Sustainable Mining Supply Chains’, reflecting the country’s transition from extractive mining to creating opportunities for enhanced economic activities throughout the supply chain.

Furthermore, the local economy relies heavily on the mining industry, with mining accounting for approximately 11% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and providing more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. 

Namibia is a world-class producer of rough diamonds, uranium, gold, zinc, acid-grade fluorspar, copper, lead, limestone, cement, salt, and dimension stone and is prospective of lithium, graphite, cobalt and rare earths and other minerals that are now declared critical by many countries globally. New explorations and expansions confirm that the mining sector will continue to play a vital role in the Namibian economy.

Furthermore, South African (SA) president Cyril Ramaphosa, said the Investing in African Mining Indaba has become one of the most important platforms for the advancement of this vital industry.

“Mining has been the bedrock of African economies for millennia, and it continues to play a pivotal role in development and industrialisation across the continent. In the global drive towards sustainability, the mining sector has a particularly important role to play, requiring it to be responsible, agile and innovative,” said the SA president.

He also noted the electricity crisis in SA has had a huge impact on the mining sector.

According to him, Eskom has assembled experienced technical teams to improve performance and recover capacity at power stations, with an initial focus on the six least reliable stations.

“We are facilitating investment in new generation capacity by private producers by, among other things, removing the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects,” Ramaphosa added.

He further stated Eskom is looking to purchase surplus power from companies with available generation capacity.

Not only will these projects support mining operations themselves and bring down operating costs, but they will also add much needed power to the country’s overall supply and support SA’s decarbonisation process.

He noted mining is leading the way in developing other new energy technologies. 

– mndjavera@nepc.com.na