Namibia Overview

Namibia is an independent, democratically governed republic that lies on the south western coast of Africa and forms part of the Southern Africa region.  Windhoek, the capital city, is located in the centre of the country, with other major towns being Tsumeb and Keetmanshoop as well as the ports of Luderitz and Walvis Bay.  Namibia is sparsely populated with around 2 million people.  All major towns are linked via a network of sealed roads, with regional access through maintained gravel roads.  Rail networks provide vital transport routes from South Africa, as well as a local network serving the smelter complex at Tsumeb and ports of Walvis Bay and Luderitz.

Namibia’s chief economic sectors include mining (contributing 12.4% of GDP in 2007) with the country being the world’s fifth largest producer of uranium and agriculture, which contributes 9.5% of the country’s GDP (2007) and consists mainly of cattle and sheep-raising.  The country’s fishing grounds are some of the world’s richest and fish processing is one of the country’s main industrial activities.  The Namibian economy is closely linked with South Africa, with the Namibian Dollar being pegged to the South African Rand.

Namibia is also a primary source for gem-quality diamonds.  It is the fourth-largest exporter of nonfuel minerals in Africa, the world’s fifth largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver and tungsten.

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 Directorate of Mines endeavours to promote the optimal exploitation of Namibia’s mineral resources and integrate the mining industry with other sectors of the economy for the socio-economic development of the country.  Namibia’s varied geology encompasses rocks spanning more than 2,200 million years.  Most of the country’s surface area has excellent bedrock exposure, while the remainder is covered by young surficial deposits of the Kalahari and Namib Deserts.  These rocks occur in the central and northern parts of the country.  Extensive low grade porphyry style Cu-Mo deposits have been delineated within the Haib Group located in southern Namibia.