Conveyor system at
the Langer Heinrich
uranium mine
 
Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 October 2010 – Namibian uranium concentrate production jumped in the second quarter of 2010 as a result of higher demand from China and India, according to the southern African country’s central bank.

Namibia “’ which is Africa’s second biggest producer of uranium “’ mined 18% more of the nuclear fuel in the three months to 30 June, compared with a year earlier, the Windhoek-based Bank of Namibia said in the quarterly report published on its website today. Production increased by 9.9% from the first quarter, it said, without giving the relevant figures.

“The demand for uranium continued to be high, emanating mostly from China, India and South Korea, and coupled with planned nuclear plant programmes across the globe due to increased demand for clean energy,” the central bank said.

“Namibian uranium output may quadruple by 2015 as new mines are opened by companies including Extract Resources Limited, more than doubling the metal’s contribution to the economy,” Investment House Namibia predicted earlier this year. ‘The industry accounted for 5.6% of Namibia’s gross domestic product in 2009.’

A recovery in mining is expected to help Namibia’s economy rebound from last year’s contraction, to grow an estimated 4.2% in 2010, the central bank said. Paladin Energy Limited and Rio Tinto Group operate uranium mines in the country.

Zinc concentrate production rose by 9.1% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, and by 6.5% from the first three months of this year, the central bank revealed. Refined zinc production increased 1.7% to 38 159 metric tonnes.

“The rise in zinc production was due to the continued favourable international price of zinc, coupled with continued demand of base metals, especially from China and India,” it said.