Publications

Mining on communal land as a new frontier: a case study of the Kunene Region, Namibia

Odendaal, Willem; Hebinck, Paul

Summary

This paper is about mining under communal ownership which makes this kind of mining a new mining frontier. The newness of the frontier is that it has introduced a series of institutional complexities that is uncommon to artisanal and large-scale mining. Mining companies have to negotiate deals with communities and their leaders to be able to prospect for mineral resources. We also argue that the state’s environmental legislation is poorly harmonised with the prevalent conditions in communal areas where mining is gaining greater importance. Legislation remains silent on the rights of those living on communal land. These rights remain in a state of confusion with often negative effects on the local communities who are exposed to a number of duplicating development programmes and legislative structures. The aim of this paper is to explore the dynamics communal mining in the Kunene Region in north-western Namibia