BoN forecasts positive growth for Namibia’s uranium sector

Namibia’s uranium mining sector is expected to register positive growth in 2023 according to the Bank of Namibia (BoN).

"Despite challenges such as water supply constraints and higher input costs, the uranium mining sector is expected to grow at a healthy rate in 2023,” BoN Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab told a gathering of Public Enterprises CEOs on Thursday.

!Gawaxab said despite the escalating risks to the domestic economy, the apex bank was forecasting positive growth in 2022, driven by growth in the country’s extractive sector, agriculture, forestry, and the fishing industries.

“Growth in metal ores will be supported by increased output from the gold sub-sector, which accounts for the majority of metal ores,” he said.

The pronouncement by !Gawaxab comes as the Chamber of Mines and the Ministry of Finance are also upbeat about the prospects of the country’s uranium mining sector.

According to Chamber, the rapidly improving uranium prices are likely to accelerate the development of mines on care and maintenance such as Paladin’s Langer Heinrich uranium mine and Orano’s Trekkopje mine.

The mining association expects Reptile Uranium’s Tumas project and Bannerman’s Etango project to enter mine development once the hurdle uranium price of US$65 is reached.

Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi said a number of uranium projects are expected to come online if the price reaches US$65 to US$70 a pound, a development that will trigger more investment in uranium.

Spot prices for uranium have doubled from lows of US$28 per pound last year to US$64 in April, sparking a fresh interest in restarting projects set aside after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami which crippled Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

According to BoN, the domestic economy is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2022 and 3.7% in 2023.

 However, the apex bank’s latest GDP growth estimates are a bit higher than Treasury’s projections that Namibia’s economy will only grow by 2.9% this year before accelerating further to 3.7% in 2023.

PSG Namibia forecasts that real GDP growth will accelerate to about 3.5% in 2022 from 2.4% in 2021, thanks to new mining activities, increased investment in the energy sector, and reduced pandemic-related restrictions.

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Last modified on Monday, 06 June 2022 19:07

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