Diamonds contribute 2.5 billion in royalties, taxes and dividend

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali says Diamonds contributed N.dollars 2.5 billion in royalties, taxes and dividends to the State Revenue Fund in 2013 and expects similar levels of contribution in 2014.

Katali announced this in the National Assembly (NA) here on Wednesday while introducing his ministry’s budget allocation of N.dollars 869 453 000 million.

¨Seperately, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) contributed N.dollars 120 million in dividends to the State as a result of local sales of diamonds to local cutting and polishing factories,¨ he explained.

Namdeb Holdings has contributed N.dollars 74 million in dividends.

Katali said much value is concentrated in a single stone, thus it is imperative that Diamond Inspectors remain vigilant whenever diamonds are being handled or transported.

The Mines and Energy Minister further informed his fellow legislators that the beneficiation of diamonds continues to be one of the key objectives in line with Vision 2030 and the National Development Plan (NDP) goals.

¨However, this sector is experiencing back braking challenges as prices of rough diamonds have remained stagnant. Therefore, manufactures margins has diminished significantly leading to some bankruptcy,¨ he stated.

Factories the minister said have therefore been under immense pressure and have been fighting for their survival.

On the promotion of local and foreign investment in exploration and mining Katali said an amount of close to N.dollars 28 million was budgeted for the 2013/14 financial year, for the design and development of regional small scale mining projects.

According to him fifty per cent (N,dollars 14 million) of that budget was utilised in advancing the initial phases, whereas the remainder had to be suspended from the current financial year 2013/14 to allow funds to be released in the next financial year, to finalise the projects.

¨A total of 238 Exclusive Prospecting Licenses (EPLS) were issued while 242 Mining Claims were registered,¨ he pointed out.

Out of these, 222 EPLs were granted to Namibians or companies with Namibian participation and the constructions of the Husab, Otjikoto and Thscudi mines are all on schedule and budget.

Meanwhile Katali reported that during the 2013/14 financial year, three lives were lost due to mine accidents before stating that the goal of the ministry is to have a record of zero fatalities.

¨The ministry will need considerable additional resources, to increase regular mine visits and intensify health and safety awareness to the industry,¨ the mines and energy minister said.

(edited)WINDHOEK:; Namibian diamonds contributed N.dollars 2.5 billion in royalties, taxes and dividends to the State Revenue Fund in 2013, and similar levels of contributions are expected in 2014.

Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali announced this in the National Assembly (NA) here on Wednesday whilst introducing his ministry’s budget allocation of N.dollars 869 453 000 million.

“Separately, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) contributed N.dollars 120 million in dividends to the State as a result of the local sales of diamonds to local cutting and polishing factories,” he explained.

The country’s main diamond mining company Namdeb Holdings contributed N.dollars 74 million in dividends.

Katali said much value is concentrated in a single stone.

Thus, it is imperative that diamond inspectors remain vigilant whenever diamonds are being handled or transported.

The minister further informed his fellow legislators that the beneficiation of diamonds continues to be one of the key objectives aligned with Vision 2030 and the National Development Plan (NDP) goals.

“However, this sector is experiencing back-breaking challenges as prices of rough diamonds have remained stagnant. Therefore, manufacturing margins have diminished significantly, leading to some bankruptcy,” he stated.

Factories have, therefore, been under immense pressure, and have been fighting for survival.

On the promotion of local and foreign investment in exploration and mining, Katali said an amount of close to N.dollars 28 million was budgeted for the 2013/14 financial year for the design and development of regional small-scale mining projects.

50 per cent (about N.dollars 14 million) of that budget was utilised in advancing the initial phases, whereas the remainder had to be suspended from the current financial year 2013/14 to allow funds to be released in the next financial year to finalise these projects.

“A total of 238 exclusive prospecting licences (EPLS) were issued, while 242 mining claims were registered,” he pointed out.

Out of these, 222 EPLs were granted to Namibians or companies with Namibian participation.

The construction of the Husab, Otjikoto and Tschudi mines are also all on schedule and on budget.

Meanwhile, the minister reported that during the 2013/14 financial year, three lives were lost due to mine accidents. The goal of his ministry is to have a record of zero fatalities.

“The ministry will need considerable additional resources to increase regular mine visits, and intensify health and safety awareness to the industry,” he stated.

SOURCE: NAMPA