Namibia’s plan to hand mining and exploration rights to a state-owned firm would only be applied to future mineral discoveries, not existing ones, a local newspaper quoted a government minister as saying.
“We are talking strictly about any new mineral deposits that would be discovered. Not those already developed by current investors,” the New Era newspaper quoted Mining Minister Isak Katali as saying on Thursday, reports Reuters.
“This is definitely not a nationalisation. All we want is more benefits for Namibians from the country’s minerals.”
Katali had announced legislation that would hand over mining and exploration rights in the southern African nation to state-owned firm Epangelo Mining.
The policy was confirmed by the cabinet late last week, and raised concern from international investors about the future of mining in the mineral-rich country, which has deposits of uranium and where foreign firms are also exploring gold, zinc and iron ore.