Namdeb awaits tax-break fate
19 May 2020 | Local News
Namdeb is still in talks with government over a possible tax break the mining company has in the past said it needs to sustain its operations.
The tax break is sought to enable the company to operate beyond 2022 as its assets are fast approaching the end of their lifespans.
Ministry of finance spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu confirmed talks around the mining company's operations, but said no decisions had been taken yet.
“The final decision is not yet made, the matter is still under discussion,” he said.
When approached for comment, Namdeb spokesperson Shangelao Ndadi said they were still waiting for feedback from government.
“We unfortunately do not have any feedback regarding the tax waive at this stage. We will be glad to share information once it is available.”
In a brief interview, mines minister Tom Alweendo said he welcomed the request for the tax break, but added that it was not that the tax would simply be written off. Diamond mining is the largest taxpayer in Namibia and generates 20% of the country's export earnings.
Diamonds have been mined in Namibia since 1908, but land-based operations could end in 2023 as Namdeb said it is no longer economical to continue under the current tax regime.
Anglo American results show that its land operations in Namibia produced 209 000 carats in the first six months of 2019, 37% less than the first half of 2018. Namdeb currently pays 10% royalty on its sales and 55% corporate tax on its profit.
CEO Riaan Burger last year told Namibian Sun that its assets were ageing.
He added that he was confident government would grant the company a waiver.
“I think there is an understanding of the importance of Namdeb in the economy and in particular in terms of the jobs that are affected by the current short life of the mine,” he said.