JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Economic growth in Namibia is expected to pick up substantially in 2017 as the Husab uranium mine starts production, making Namibia one of the world's largest uranium producers.
Research analysis group BMI noted in a statement published on Monday that while the Namibian economy will see a significant ramp-up in mining output, high household indebtedness will limit growth in private consumption.
“While we have downgraded our 2016 growth forecast from 3.8% to 1.5% owing to sharp contractions in the construction, mining and agricultural sectors over the first half of 2016, we still expect the economy to register strong growth of 4.5% in 2017,” BMI said.
Private consumption will pick up gradually, preventing a sharper rise in economic growth, as high levels of household debt and elevated interest rates temper citizens’ ability to increase spending.
Namibia will experience robust growth as the country’s uranium production doubles in 2017, BMI noted.
The Husab uranium mine, which is reported to be the third-largest uranium mine in the world, will come on line in the first half of next year, boosting domestic production from 2 900 t in 2016 to 5 800 t in 2017.
The project is a joint venture between China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp and local miner Swakop Uranium.
“We expect uranium to become a key driver of Namibian exports over the next several years. We forecast real export growth of 7% in 2017 compared with 2.1% over 2016.”