Source: Chamwe Kaira

The Chamber of Mines of Namibia believes that the new licencing procedure for mineral rights and petroleum upstream licences is a positive development that will assist in addressing the backlog of applications.

It’s a positive development. We are ok with it if it will assist in addressing the backlog of applications,” said Chamber of Mines of Namibia CEO, Veston Malango.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is introducing a new approach to the application process for the different licenses within its mandate in pursuit of a more efficient and effective service delivery to the public.

The Ministry throughout the years, has been receiving and accepting applications for mineral rights and upstream petroleum licenses under the open licensing system.

The ministry said this method has proven to be ineffective, especially with the recent demand of critical minerals and the discovery of oil and gas, which has led to an increased number of new applications received. The rate of accepting applications has surpassed the rate of reviewing and awarding licenses, resulting in a massive backlog.

The ministry said this initiative will allow applicants only to apply for licenses at a certain period and give the Ministry ample time to review the applications.

It said the exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL), Reconnaissance Licence (RL), Mining Licence (ML), Mining Claim (MC), Petroleum Reconnaissance Licence (PRL), Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) and the Petroleum Production Licence (PPL) will be processed under the new procedure. The current open application system will be suspended by 31 December 2023. The new opening for application under the new approach will only commence on 1 April 2024.

The ministry said it views the mining and upstream petroleum as important sectors of the Namibian economy and is therefore continuously looking at how to improve the management of these two sectors.

The 2022 Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies released in May showed that Namibia was ranked 38th out of 62 jurisdictions surveyed, compared to 59 out of 84 jurisdictions in 2021.

Namibia ranked 6th out of 16 African jurisdictions surveyed on overall investment attractiveness.

In terms of policy performance, Namibia did not fare well, with its absolute score falling by 6 points from 75 in 2021 to 69 in 2022.

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