Namibia is not considering taking minority stakes in mining and petroleum producers already operating in the country, the ministry of mines and energy said on Thursday, clarifying earlier comments by the mining minister.
Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo was quoted as telling lawmakers on Monday that Namibia would target stakes in resource companies to reap more value from its mineral wealth.
“The government has no intention of seizing any stake from existing mineral or petroleum licence holders and remains committed to uphold the sanctity of contracts,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry, however, did not rule out the government taking minority stakes when granting licences to resource firms in the future.
“The state as the supreme owner of these natural resources, may demand certain minimum stake through public enterprises … in any mineral or petroleum licences that may be issued in future,” the ministry said.
Namibia is one of the biggest uranium producers in the world. It is also a major diamond producer and has significant hard rock lithium deposits.
(By Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Kirsten Donovan)