The African News Agency writes that Namibian gold mining giant B2Gold says the country’s mining sector has been unable to attract new investors due to excessive mine taxation and bureaucracy at various levels of the government. In an interview with Namibian media, B2GOld Public Relations Coordinator Kaanduka Nghipandulwa said mining companies face additional challenges which include poor access to capital, lack of cost-efficient access to water and power, a general lack of essential skills and expertise and a culture of poor industrial relations.
Advertisement Nghipandulwa said although government derives immense benefits from the mining sector, the taxes, royalties and levies were too high when compared to general global standards.He said the tax regime is considered as one of the high-risk factors which are driving away investment.
“Exploration, project and capital costs for mining are extremely high in Namibia. They are nearly always far higher than what local investors can raise without external assistance. Such is the case, not only for Namibia but most regional countries. Most investors seek to balance risk against financial return,” said Nghipandulwa.“Simply put, the lower the risk, the better the returns and that improves the chances of success for a (mining) project as it would attract development funders.“Investors usually have different industries and sectors to choose from in different countries. They are somewhat spoilt with the large number of choices available to them, so the countries and political regimes they run must be as attractive as the projects.” Apart from the value of the commodity, Nghipandulwa said Namibia needs to develop its employment ethics, support industries and skills development base to attract new investments to the gold mining sector.