(Bloomberg) — Namibia is considering taking minority stakes in mining and petroleum production companies amid increasing concerns over local ownership of valuable resources.
“We are making a case that local ownership must start with the state, which holds ownership of our natural resources,” Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo told lawmakers on Monday. “The proposed state ownership should take the form where the state owns a minimum equity percentage in all mining companies and petroleum production, for which it does not have to pay,” he said.
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Namibia is one of Africa’s biggest producers of diamonds and largest of uranium. In February, Impact Oil & Gas Ltd. said it will start a multiwell drilling program in the country with TotalEnergies SE, which discovered oil offshore last year.
Australian uranium company Paladin Energy Ltd. plunged as much as 23% to its lowest since August 2021. The company gets all of its revenue from Namibia, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.
The arid southwest African nation joins others such as Zimbabwe, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Philippines and Peru that are pushing for more value from their minerals or considering increased state intervention, partly due to higher commodity prices.
The country is also contemplating creating a minerals exploration fund, which could be financed by a portion of the royalties paid by mining and petroleum companies to the state, Alweendo said. The fund will be used to support local entrepreneurs who want to invest in the mining sector, he said.
(Updates to add share moves of Paladin Energy in fourth paragraph)