The markets are projecting growth for the mining sector this year, with N$3.3 billion worth of uranium making part of mining exports between January to August last year.
Statistics provided by the Chamber of Mines indicated that uranium mines have sold 2,498.91 pounds of uranium, making uranium one of Namibia’s biggest export commodities, although it has been trading on a downward trend since November 2015.
Uranium was trading at U$35.93 per pound, a drop from the U$36.96 per pound in October 2015, which shows a decrease of -2.79%.
The Villager, understands that the uranium spot price continued to drop as from U$35.10 in December 2015, a decrease of -2.31%, January 2016 34.62 (-1.37%), February 2016, 33.62 by -2.89%, March 2016 29.61 a decline of -11.93%, April 2016 27.59 a decline of -6.82%.
However in May 2016, there has been a slight increase up to U$27.79, showing an increase of 0.72%, but in June 2016 the price dropped again to U$27.15 with a decrease of -2.30%.
Uranium production in Namibia stood at an estimated 3 713 metric tonnes output in 2015, however, in 2017 it is expected to be around 11 100 metric tonnes. Namibia is ranked as one of the biggest uranium producers in the world after Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Russia and Niger.
Namibia’s uranium output is expected to triple this year, becoming the world’s third largest producer of the commodity, as the massive Husab mine production is expected to begin.
Statistics also indicate that Namibia produced 865 896.70 carats of diamonds from January to July last year and diamond sale’s recorded over N$ 600 million in the same period of time.
In the 2014/15 financial year diamond mining revenue raked in N$10.87 billion statistics released by the Chamber of Mines shows.
The diamond sub sector posted a growth of 11.1% in real value added and posted record production levels, although it did not offset the contractions posted by uranium and other mining activities and the total revenue from Namibia’s overall mining was N$21.62 billion.
Namdeb Holdings produced 1.8 million carats of diamonds of which 1.273 million were produced by Debmarine Namibia.
Namdeb also increased production in 2014 totaling 612,265 carats against a target of 570,427 carats.
Namdeb Holdings’ output increasingly comes from under the sea.
Revenue generated by the mining sector grew from N$22.78 billion in 2014 to N$25.28 billion in 2015 in nominal terms. The mining sector directly contributed 11.9 to GDP in 2015. In real terms, the mining industry contracted by 0.1% last year compared to 6.2% in 2014. The moderated contraction of the sector was due to the counteraction of negative and positive spin offs in the local mining sector.
Although the mining sector contracted in real terms, significant investments by the industry continued to occur in 2014. Chamber of Mines statistics show that fixed investments doubled from N$8.5 billion in 2013 to N$17.26 billion in 2014.
Last year the state and De Beers signed a sales agreement that will enable the Namibian government to get 15% of the diamonds mined by Namdeb for supply to local gem polishing factories.
The 10-year sales agreement, has been viewed as a major step forward in making sure that a portion of the diamonds mined locally are exploited for economic progress at home.
Statistics also indicate that over N$2 million worth of industrial minerals and N$199 667.35 worth of semi-precious stone were exported in the last financial year.
However, figures released by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) last year showed that uranium production contracted during both 2014 and 2015, whereas gold production rose significantly over the same period.