The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources says it is shocked that the government has no shares in some mines.

The committee visited three of the Otjozondjupa Region's six mines.

The MP's first visit was to the Cheetah Cement Plant.

90% of Whale Rock Cheetah Cement Factory is owned by two Chinese companies based in the Orient, while the other 10% is owned by a local company.

The mine's General Manager, Yuhui Shao, spoke through an interpreter.

"The biggest shareholder is Hou-chang Investment in Marites, and the second biggest shareholder is Atomrts, which is also registered in Marites."

Acting Human Resource Manager Brain Maite says the company has 181 employees, of which 41 are Chinese nationals.

While the company claims to have spent more than N$6 million on social responsibility, it was unable to provide any evidence of its contribution to the cause.

The next stop was the B2Gold mine, where MPs were schooled on the mining of gold, the underground mine, and how it manages waste.

B2Gold Namibia is owned by a Canadian company, while Evi Mining, a Namibian company, also owns shares.

Northern Graphite Okanjande is another mine focusing on graphite mining, on the outskirts of Otjiwarongo.

The 100% Canadian-owned company is currently busy getting itself off the ground, and production is expected to start next year by July.

"We got board approval to establish ourselves here as Okanjande, which means pack up everything we have at Okorusu, break down the processing plant, and establish ourselves here, so that is the approved project that we are busy with," said Gerson Shipanga, general manager at the Okanjande Mine.

The company plans to hire about 300 employees once operations launch.

The government does not own any shares in any of the mines the MPs visited.

Otjozondjupa has six mines in total, and MPs will compile a comprehensive report on the mines they visited. This report will be tabled in Parliament.

Photo Credits
Eveline Paulus