The Namibian mining sector has recorded a 6% growth in real value added during the second quarter of 2014. This is an improvement from the first quarter of the year where mining showed a decline of 3.8% in real value added according to a report published by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).
This, despite the dip the uranium other mining and quarrying sub-sectors, which performed unfavourably in the second quarter of 2014, registering declines. Uranium declined with 30.1 per cent in real value added compared to an increase of 5.8 per cent registered in the second quarter of 2013. This is also compared to the 2.9% growth uranium recorded in the first quarter of the year.
Managing Director of Rio Tinto, Werner Duvenhage said that the reduction in production of Uranuim was attributed to the reduction in production of uranium oxide at Rössing Uranium in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. Duvenhage said that this was also related to poor production in April 2014 and May 2014. A scheduled maintenance shut down in June 2014 also contributed to the decline in uranium production for the second quarter of the year.
The performance in mining and quarrying sector could be attributed to diamond and metal ores that registered positive growths in real value added. In the second quarter of 2014 the diamond subsector registered 20.8% growth in real value added compared to a decline of 8.1 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2013. This comes after the diamond sector only recorded sluggish growth of 0.1% in the first quarter compared to a strong growth of 40.7 per cent registered in the corresponding period of 2013.
Metal ores also estimated to have registered a growth of 9.8 per cent in real value added compared to a decline of 37.1 per cent registered in the same quarter of 2013.
Uranium is not the only mining sector to have registered declines in the second quarter. Other mining and quarrying is also estimated to have declined by 4.2 per cent in real value added during the period under review. This is compared to an increase of 10.8 per cent registered in same period of 2013. The production of granite and marble declined. The production of ‘Granite and Marble’ also recorded declines of 66.4 per cent and 50.0 per cent during the first quarter of the year.
The mining sector spent N$13.17 billion on fixed investment in 2013 and contributed more than any other sector of the economy, except for Government which spent N$5.27 billion on fixed investment during 2013.
Preliminary figures released by the NSA in March 2014 showed that exports from the mining sector reached N$ 20.87b to which exports of copper and refined zinc must be added. This gave a grand total of N$ 25.2b worth of minerals being exported in 2013. The mineral exports accounted 53% percent of total merchandise exports.
Namibia’s mining sector generated N$11.3 billion of value added towards the country’s GDP. Diamond mining delivered N$8.23 billion of value added, while other mining and quarrying contributed N$3.07 billion to GDP.