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Namibia diamond sales beat uranium – Economist

24 may 2012

Namibia’s diamond sales exceeded earnings realised from uranium exports last year, a renowned local economist has said.
Old Mutual group economist Robin Sherbourne told a one-day mining conference convened in Windhoek that diamond sales reached N$6.5 billion ($772 million) against uranium’s N$4.9 billion ($582 million).
Research company, Frost & Sullivan, had pointed out earlier in the year that Namibia’s mining sector generated $1.6-billion in mining export earnings in 2011, contributing about 11 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.
Namibia’s uranium mining sector was forecast to be the single largest mining sector in the country’s mining industry by 2015.
However, Sherbourne said that Namibia lost its position as the world’s fourth largest uranium producer last year.
He said it was now the fifth largest producer of uranium.
The country’s uranium growth was curtailed by lower production outputs at Rio Tinto’s Rössing uranium mine.
Sherbourne said that Namibia’s diamond output fell to 1.34 million carats last year.
Namdeb recorded weak output last year as a result of depleted diamond reserves in the onshore mines.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished