Mines ministry delays online registration launch

Tom Alweendo

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has suspended the launch of its online registration portal and the introduction of online licence application which were scheduled for 4 and 5 April.

According to a statement issued by ministry spokesperson Ten Hasheela, the temporary suspension of the launch will enable the ministry to finalise all the “implementation modalities for the smooth operation of the system”.

She says this does not affect the open window for receiving licence applications.

“Members of the public who wish to apply for mineral rights, diamond licences and petroleum upstream licences, can still submit their applications from 2 April until 31 May manually, as it has been done in the past,” she says.

Hasheela says members of the public are urged to continue registering for the online application process for readiness once the system becomes operational.

“The public will be informed of any further developments on this matter, and the ministry apologises for any inconvenience this might have caused,” she says.

Hasheela two weeks ago announced that members of the public who wished to apply for these licences could submit their applications online, as registration on the portal commenced on 15 March.

“This milestone coincides with the implementation of the revised licence application timetable that was introduced earlier this year, which was aimed at enhancing the efficiency of assessing and reviewing applications,” the ministry said at the time.

Hasheela said the ministry would transition exclusively to online application submissions from 5 April, discontinuing the acceptance of manual applications.

“This transition marks a significant step towards modernisation and aligns with the ministry’s commitment to embracing digital transformation,” she said.

The ministry said applications for mineral rights are done through the Department of Mines, diamond licences via the Department of Diamond Affairs, and Petroleum Upstream licences are administered by the Directorate of Petroleum Affairs.

The ministry said dedicated stations would be available at its head office in Windhoek for individuals requiring assistance with registration and applications.

Details on registration can be found on the ministry’s website, it said.

Namibia’s mining sector has seen a rise in activity, especially after the discovery of oil and gas offshore by oil majors Shell, TotalEnergies and Galp.

Also pushing up activity in the mining sector is the rise in the price of uranium to more than US$100 per pound, which has seen the country’s uranium exports increasing to N$3,8 billion, claiming a 31,7% share of exports in January, according to trade data from the Namibia Statistics Agency.

According to the NSA, the growth in uranium exports marked the highest monthly export value recorded in the past 10 years.

There has also been a rise in prospecting for gold and other metals like lithium, which made Namibia an attractive mining destination.
– email: matthew@namibian.com.na

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