Copper Mining in Namibia at a Glance

Sossusvlei Dune Namib Desert Namibia Luca Galuzzi 2004

Namibia’s mining sector is dominated by the production of uraniumgolddiamonds and lead; however, copper has been working its way onto the list of the country’s mined metals and minerals.

Indeed, the US Geological Survey states that in 2011, some minerals, including copper blister, saw more production. “The increase in copper blister was attributed to the sustained supply of imported copper concentrate, to enhancements in the production technology of copper smelting, and to the favorable global demand for copper,” it notes.

Several of the country’s copper mines have been shut down, particularly in 2008, as a result of decreases in the copper price. Reopening them was difficult due to late delivery of mining equipment. However, conditions overall in Namibia are politically favorable to mining copper and other minerals.

Here are some of the companies that have copper projects in Namibia:

Weatherly International (LSE:WTI)

Weatherly International operates two copper mines in Namibia, the Otjihase and the Matchless mines. They were closed in 2008, but reopened in 2011.

Weatherly also holds three copper projects in the country, the Tschudi, Tsumeb West and Tsumeb Tailings projects. The company’s strategy in Namibia is to establish a mining business that will lead to yearly output of 25,000 tonnes of copper for the next 10 years.

Cupric Canyon Capital

Cupric Canyon Capital is a privately held company owned and managed by the Barclays Natural Resources Investments division of Barclays (NYSE:BCS). The company focuses on both developed and undeveloped copper assets, and works within all phases of mining, from exploration to production.

In 2013, it acquired a majority interest in Eiseb Exploration and Mining, which is a private company that owns exploration rights on highly prospective ground in Namibia. These holdings are on an extension of the Kalahari Copper Belt, according to Reuters.

Namibian Copper (ASX:NCO)

Namibian Copper is a mineral exploration company that holds the Ongombo project in Central Namibia, near the productive Otjihase copper mine and the country’s capital of Windhoek. The deposit was discovered by Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company in the early 1970s via airborne magnetics. Exploration took place thereafter, largely under Tsumeb and Gold Fields Namibia.

Kombat Copper (TSXV:KBT)

Kombat Copper is currently taking steps to bring an inactive mine back into production. It has data related to past production and recent resource drilling, which it is currently analyzing, according to a news release. The company expects a minimum of 4 to 5 million tonnes of copper in the Asis Far West Zone of the Kombat mine project alone.

“Very recent geological investigations have indicated that a significant re-interpretation of the geological model and emplacement of copper mineralization at Kombat Mine is being formulated,” Bill Nielsen, president and CEO of Kombat Copper, said in a release. “This new understanding can have long-term implications on the Company’s exploration and mining outlook. We still have several kilometers of strike length to explore on our mining license and believe that the favorable stratigraphic horizon hosting significant copper mineralization is present to the west where a 1980′s drill hole intersected 1.68 meters assaying 11.7 percent copper and 151.48 grams per tonne of silver.”

Sabre Resources (ASX:SBR)

Sabre Resources is an exploration company, and its primary project is the Otavi Mountain Land base metals project, located in Northern Namibia. The site contains over 60 known copper, lead, zinc and vanadium resources. The Kombat Copper Trend is part of this project, and is on the same trend as the Gross Otavi and Kombat mines, which are not Sabre assets. Sabre itself is exploring near the Kombat mine, also near the Guchab Mining Centre. There have been successful explorations in the area.