The Namibia Local Business Association (NALOBA) says it has learned with shock and awe about the imminent closure of the Otjikoto mine managed by B2Gold.

“NALOBA would like to express dismay and utter disappointment at the imminent and sudden closure of B2Gold mine in Namibia. It is a clear fact that foreign investors do not have respect for the laws of the country and for the employees in general,” NALOBA’s secretary general Mr Sackeus Namuhuya said in a statement.

Namuhuya stated that NALOBA is of the opinion that if mining operations are to be terminated, such should be done in an orderly manner and that it should be done according to the mining company’s policy.

“A signed copy of the contract should be provided to the public, inclusive of an indication of the lifespan of the mine and the mine’s phased closure,” he pointed out.

“An economically viable operational mine cannot come to a screeching halt as if one is closing a shebeen.

“This is very unacceptable and unprofessional and NALOBA would like to strongly condemn the management of B2Gold for their would-be actions.”

Namuhuya further stated that NALOBA is urging President Hage Geingob to establish an urgent commission of inquiry into the sudden closure of the B2Gold mine, and “simultaneously investigate the conditions and contracts of all other mining operations.”

NALOBA also has called on the Government to “start involving stakeholders in the mining operations such as unions, business associations and employers’ federations in all contractual agreements to avoid a repetition of the B2Gold mine’s unceremonious closure.

The Government, together with the employees of B2Gold mine should take charge of all the assets of the mine to avoid the mine becoming a white elephant, NALOBA said.

“This type of ignorance cannot be allowed to happen, where our local and fellow citizens are treated like foreigners in their own country.”

In the photo: B2Gold’s Otjikoto mining operations.