27 November 2012

Namibia: Mining Remains Gem of Economy

THE mining and exploration industry in Namibia supported over 100 000 people during the past year, the Chamber of Mines in Namibia says in its latest annual review.

“This is indeed a significant figure in a country with a population of only 2,3 million, but with an extremely high unemployment rate,” the annual review, released yesterday, states.

It cannot be emphasised too often that, without a vibrant mining industry, Namibia’s economy would struggle to pay its way in the world and uplift its people,” chamber president Mark Dawe said in the report.

Including temporary employees and full-time contractors, the mining and exploration industry gave jobs to 14 328 in 2011-12. Direct employment stood at 7 306, up 6,7% from 2010-11.

“It is estimated that the multiplier effect for each employee is around seven. Therefore it is likely that the mining industry directly and indirectly provides an income for some 100 000 people,” the review states.

Not only is the industry a huge job creator, it also a major skills developer. Some N$55 million were invested in skills and training during the past year, and 110 new bursaries were awarded to tertiary institutions. In addition, the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) continues to produce between 300 and 500 artisans of “excellent quality” each year.

The industry pumped about N$1,6 billion in direct taxes into state coffers in 2011, about 4% more than in 2010. Namdeb contributed the bulk, N$573,5 million in profit tax, as well as N$350 million in royalties.

In total, mining contributed 9,5% to Namibia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, up from 8,5% the previous year. Diamonds’ contribution to GDP recovered from 5% in 2010 to 7,2% last year.

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