Banner 7
Banner 8
Banner 9
Select another country

Mining products produce up to 50% of Namibia's annual export earnings. The country’s main mining products include diamonds, uranium, gold, zinc, copper and lead. Namibia is one of the world’s largest diamond producers which is the most economically significant mineral commodity produced by the mining industry of Namibia. The country produced about 2% of the world’s gem-quality diamond, which placed it as the eighth ranked producer of gem diamond in terms of value.

It is currently the fifth producer of uranium, providing 10% of the world’s uranium to the region.

Diamond mining contributed about 8.6% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Namibia , construction accounted for 3.7% of the GDP, and other mining and quarrying, 3.1%. Mineral exports accounted for a significant segment of trade and foreign exchange earnings.

The long tradition of mining in Namibia has been renewed with the re-opening of the Tsumeb-area copper mines and smelter, the opening of the Skorpion zinc project, the expansion of the fluorspar and the gold mines, and the continued offshore diamond development of the past few years. Extensive exploration in Namibia for base metals, diamond, gold, natural gas, and uranium has been attributed, in part, to the rise in world commodity prices. Potentially new mine development and new value-added gemstone cutting and polishing, metal-processing, and other mineral-based manufacturing industries could maintain the mineral sector’s position as a significant segment of the economy of Namibia for the foreseeable future.

With a climate that is among the driest in the world, the lack of water resources will continue to be a constraint on mineral development in Namibia, as will the availability of fuel and electric power. New investment to develop the country’s natural gas resources and harness the hydroelectric power potential, and the proposed introduction of nuclear-powered electricity-generating plants in 2006, will influence the future economic growth of Namibia. The expansion of regional transportation infrastructure in northern Namibia could see the Port of Walvis Bay become an alternative route for mineral exports from southeastern Angola, Botswana, and Zambia.


Diamond mining along the Orange River accounts for 5.2% of the total revenue produced by Namdeb and for 2.8% of total carats produced. These diamonds are famous for their good stone size and quality. The Daberas Mine, which is situated on the northern bank of the Orange River some 80 km east of Oranjemund, is mined by the conventional open cast method. The Daberas Mine is the main production facility in the Orange River mining area, and is capable of treating nearly four million tons of diamond-bearing gravel a year.


Companies that explored for gold in 2006 included Forsys Metals Corp. of Canada on the Ondundu prospect, Teal Exploration & Mining Inc. of Canada on the Otjikoto prospect, and Teck Cominco on the Vredelus prospect. Yale Resources worked on the Makuru (also known as the Otjimakuru) project.


Rössing Uranium Ltd. processed about 12 million metric tons of ore in 2006 and produced 3,617 t of U3O8. Production was exported to the Asia and the Pacific, the European, and the North American markets by Rio Tinto Uranium.

Earlier this decade, Rössing had announced that the Rössing Mine would be closed in 2009. By 2005, the increase in the world market price of uranium allowed Rössing to plan to extend operations to 2016. In 2006, positive exploration results and continued favorable uranium market conditions allowed Rössing to propose that the mine’s life could be extended to 2021.

In late 2006, Paladin Resources Ltd. commissioned the Langer Heinrich uranium oxide (U3O8, or yellowcake) plant; startup output was not included in the country’s 2006 production data. Paladin expected to ramp up U3O8 production to about 1 1,180 t/yr (2.6 million pounds per year).

In Namibia, all mineral rights are vested in the state. The Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act of 1992 regulates the mining industry in the country. Policy has been designed to facilitate and encourage the private sector to evaluate and develop mineral resources.

Mineral Law & Legislation

In Namibia, all mineral rights are vested in the state. The Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act of 1992 regulates the mining industry in the country. Policy has been designed to facilitate and encourage the private sector to evaluate and develop mineral resources.

The Mining Rights and Mineral resources division in the Directorate of Mining is usually the first contact for investors, as it handles all applications for and allocation of mineral rights in Namibia. Several types of mining and prospecting licenses exist, outlined briefly below:

Major Players in the Industry

  • Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation
  • African Rainbow Minerals Limited
  • Anglo American PLC
  • Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Pty) Ltd.
  • Sakawe Mining Corporation (Samincor)
  • Diamond Fields Namibia (Pty) Ltd.
  • Rössing Uranium Mine

Key Figures

  • Copper production: 10,900 metric tons (2005)
  • Gold production: 2,900 kilograms (2006)
  • Lead production: 14,300 metric tons (2006)
  • Diamond Production: 1.6 million carats per annum
  • Uranium Production: 2,000 ton (2005)

Back to top>