Sky the limit for gold miners

Chamwe Kaira

Namibians who have been trained and worked at the B2Gold’ s Otjikoto gold mine can apply their skills elsewhere in the world should they lose their jobs at the mine.

Officials of B2Gold Namibia said this week that these skills enabled Namibians to work on the construction of the Fekola Mine in Mali. The mine, which is also owned by B2Gold is located in southwest Mali, on the border between Mali and Senegal, approximately 500 km due west of the capital city, Bamako. The mine was opened in 2017.

“When we did the construction of the Fekola mine in Mali, we had almost a 100 Namibian workers, move across to Fekola to help with the construction of the mine. They build up essential skills during their time at B2Gold and they were able to apply those skills in Fekola. And some of our Namibian workers do end up working in the corporate offices in some of the jurisdictions that we operate in,” said B2Gold Country Manager, John Roos.

While the company has announced a phased scaling down of its operation, the workers who will lose their jobs may be absolved by a couple of good prospects coming up in the uranium sector.

“The uranium price is obviously doing well. I feel very upbeat about the Namibian mining sector. I am confident that the employees who will end up losing their jobs will find jobs with the uranium mines, and possibly with Osino Resources that is starting up the gold project, close to Karibib.”

Osino’s crown jewel, the Twin Hills Gold Project, is built upon 11 exclusive prospecting licenses granted by the government. These licenses cover a combined area of 153,206 hectares, encompassing key regions such as Usakos, Karibib, Omaruru, and Wilhelmstal in the Erongo Region.

The project is destined to become Namibia’s next gold mine and surpass the scale of the Otjikoto mine.

B2Gold Namibia, General Manager, Eric Barnard said over the years, the company has uplifted Namibians through bursaries. He said it is possible for Namibians to be employed in other operations within the B2Gold.

“It’s always possible, to go to other operations. There many jobs out there if the person has sufficient skills, I know Namibians who have left Otjikoto and are doing expatriate work in other countries.”

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