Mining sector records turnover of more than N$51 billion

Martin Endjala

According to the Namibian Chamber of Mines (CoM) 2023 annual review report released on Wednesday, the mining industry recorded a turnover of N$51.572 billion in 2023.

The 2023 turnover represents a 36 percent increase compared to the N$37.976 billion recorded in 2022.

The report highlighted that several factors contributed to this growth, including a weaker exchange rate, higher prices for gold and uranium, and increased production of gold, uranium and diamonds.

The report further highlighted that the sector achieved an impressive improvement in overall profitability. In 2023, it recorded a collective profit of N$2.731 billion, a stark contrast to the N$391 million loss reported in 2022.

Notably, a significant portion of this profit was driven by the exceptional performance of B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine, attributed to higher gold prices, increased production, and lower operating costs.

The CoM’s chief executive officer, Veston Malango, during the chamber’s annual general meeting, said this positive turnover bolstered the government’s total revenue in 2023, with a 55.9% increase from N$4.402 billion in 2022 to N$6.861 billion in 2023.

Malango stated that this was primarily driven by the high corporate taxes paid to the government, which amounted to N$3.967 billion, representing an increase of 98.5 percent.

“The industry’s robust profitability directly contributed to these high corporate tax payments, underscoring the government’s substantial gains from corporate income taxes when mines reach profitable levels. The increased government revenue was due to increased royalties and export levies, which grew by 17.6 percent and 45 percent, respectively,” said Malango.

Malango added that the higher royalties and export levies were supported by increased production, a weaker exchange rate and higher prices for gold and uranium.

The chamber also revealed that total direct employment increased by 12.6% in 2023 to 18,189 from 16,147 in 2022.

According to Malango, the increase was attributed to the creation of new employment positions resulting from the restart of the Langer Heinrich mine and expansion activities of other operations.

The direct employment comprised 8,950 permanent employees, 803 temporary employees and 8,436 contractors.

“Most individuals employed by the mining sector are Namibians, comprising approximately 98 percent of the mining workforce in 2023. This means that the wage bill of N$6.865 billion circulated within Namibia’s borders and created local spin-offs that supported and benefited other sectors of the economy,” said Malango.

CoM’s President, Zebra Kasete, said the mining sector has increased its relevance and Gross Domestic Product contribution to the Namibian economy from 11.9% in 2022 to 14.4 percent in 2023.

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