Namibia suspends applications for new mineral rights

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An employee watches extraction of mining material and road building work at Mining Area One in the southern coastal mines on the Skeleton Coast near Oranjemund, Namibia, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. The world's biggest diamond producer has spent $157 million on a state-of-the-art exploration vessel that will scour 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 square miles) of ocean floor for gems, an area about 65 percent bigger than Long Island. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee watches extraction of mining material and road building work at Mining Area One in the southern coastal mines on the Skeleton Coast near Oranjemund, Namibia, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. The world’s biggest diamond producer has spent $157 million on a state-of-the-art exploration vessel that will scour 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 square miles) of ocean floor for gems, an area about 65 percent bigger than Long Island. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Namibia will not consider or process new applications for mineral rights for a period of nine months to review the requirements and procedures, an official said Friday.

The suspension, from Nov. 18 to Aug. 17, 2021, is aimed to update and align the application requirements and procedures to best practices and a current national policy since 1992 when the country enacted the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesperson Andreas Simon said.

The ministry has invited the public, the mining industry, and any affected or interested persons to submit written representations and comments within the next seven working days, Simon said.

“The mining industry and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft policy and legal framework for granting new mineral licenses as the draft reviewed document will be communicated to the public and availed on the ministry,” he said.

The proposed suspension will only affect prospective or new applications, Simon said.

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