Namibia - Country Commercial Guide
Mining and Minerals

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-10-03


Mining, Namibia’s leading economic sector, accounts for roughly 10 percent of Namibia’s GDP every year.  Historically, diamond mining has been the leading sub-sector of Namibia’s mining industry.  NamDeb, a 50:50 joint venture between the Namibian government and De Beers, is the primary land-based diamond mining company.  Debmarine Namibia, also a 50:50 joint venture between the Namibian government and De Beers, handles offshore diamond mining.             

Namibia is the world’s fourth-largest producer of uranium oxide.  The nuclear industry continues to fuel the demand for uranium.  In 2018, the Husab open-pit uranium mine produced 3,028 tons of uranium oxide, making it the third-largest uranium mine in the world.  Husab is owned by a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Company.  The Rossing Uranium mine, also situated in the Namibian desert, is the fifth-largest producer of uranium oxide in the world.  The mine contains the largest uranium deposit in the world associated with igneous rock and is majority owned by China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC). 

Namibia is also a leading producer of zinc.  There are two operational mines:  Skorpion Zinc (operated by Vedanta Resources) and Rosh Pinah (owned by various shareholders, with Exxaro Base Metals owning the largest interest at 46 percent).  Lodestone, a mining company with U.S. shareholding, is extracting iron ore deposits in eastern Namibia.  The Lodestone Dordabis mine, the first operational iron mine in Namibia, commenced production in 2015.  The magnetite and hematite products are being sold to local niche consumers, such as Ohorongo Cement.  Local sulfuric acid and iron ore production are consumed as inputs by Namibian operations, exemplifying how mining sector growth leads to the expansion of upstream and services sectors.                             

Namibia is an up-and-coming source country for critical minerals, which are important for renewable energy technologies.  The country has the potential to develop new mining projects for cobalt and lithium.  Global lithium exploration and development company Lepidico Ltd. is developing a lithium mine in western Namibia and is in discussion with multiple U.S. companies on possible off-take for its lithium as well as by-products cesium and rubidium, which the U.S. Department of Interior lists as among the 35 minerals critical to national security.   Desert Lion began shipping lithium ore in 2018, with the first shipment of 30,000 tons.  Gecko Opuwo Cobalt is developing a cobalt deposit in Kunene Region.

In 2022, Namibia announced a significant find of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) on a farm in north central Namibia.  With a proven ore body of 579 million tons and a cut-off grade of 0.02 to 1.00 percent of REE-bearing materials, prospects seem highly positive.  Namibia is keen to partner with U.S. investors and off-takers.  In 2020, Namibia joined the State Department’s Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI), which was designed to promote sound mining sector governance and resilient energy mineral supply chains.  The Namibian mining industry is well-developed and sophisticated, and the government has prioritized attracting more FDI to the mining sector.


Table: Other Large Mining Operations

Mining Company



Weatherly Mining Namibia

Weatherly International*

Copper mining

Okorusu Fluorspar

Solvay Fluor

Fluorspar (CaF2)

Otjosondu Manganese mine

Shaw River Manganese



AngloGold Ashanti



Otjikoto Mine


Desert Lion Energy

Desert Lion Energy, Inc.


Gecko Opuwo Cobalt

Gecko Namibia, Pty.



Namibia’s Mining Policy is governed by several laws, including the following:

  • Minerals Act 1992 (PDF)
  • Diamonds Act 1999 (PDF)              
  • Minerals Policy to ensure the continued sustainability of the industry and its contribution to Namibia’s socioeconomic development.