18 May 2015

Namibia: Mining Still a Key Driver for Economic Growth

Windhoek — Standard Bank Namibia is confident that the mining sector promises positive growth opportunities for the country, despite a downturn in the global mining industry.

As a key economic driver, mining is a lifeline of the 21st century economy yet Standard Bank's research conducted in February this year shows that African mining remains unexplored.

The continent holds more than 30 percent of the world's mineral resources but by 2013 African exploration accounted for only 17 percent of the worldwide exploration budget.

Standard Bank Namibia's Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Amit Mohan noted: "Mining prospects however look bright for Namibia as the country is currently the world's fourth largest producer of uranium and is expected to overtake Niger and Australia by 2017 through the commencement of the Husab mine production."

In view of the upcoming Mining and Expo Conference in Windhoek and as a key partner to the mining industry, Standard Bank is optimistic that the sector has great growth potential for the country's economic development and industrialisation drive.

"As Standard Bank, our eminence talks to financing power and infrastructure, mining and metals, oil and gas and other key sectors such as fast moving consumable goods, real estate and telecommunications. As the world looks to emerging markets to power growth, Namibia is taking its rightful place at the heart of this," said Mohan.

Due to Standard Bank's strong local and regional footprint as well as long operational history, it is a key economic player in the mining sector.

One recent key highlight has been the co-financing of Debmarine Namibia's latest sampling and exploration vessel (approximately N$1.8 billion).

"Like many large investment banks, we work with government, corporates and financial clients in multiple sectors and geographies. Unlike most, we are first and foremost Namibian; we have a long, proud history that gives us a unique depth of expertise and breadth of footprint. We are set apart by our scale, by the strength of our regional and international connections, and by our ability to innovate. Our track record shows our success in building businesses across Namibia, especially in the natural resources, mining and power and infrastructure sectors," added Mohan.

While this year may be a challenging one for the global mining industry, mining prospects remain intact. In view of this Mohan remarked that "private capital has emerged as a growing source for funding for new mine investment in Africa, partly driven by the fact that resource assets can currently be acquired at relatively attractive prices."

The Mining Expo and Conference is set to be hosted by the Chamber of Mines from the May 20 to 21 under the theme: 'Mining Industry - A Catalyst for Vision 2030.'

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