Uranium production in Namibia is forecast to rise by 50 percent year-on-year in 2019, more than double the rate of expansion from last year’s 20 percent level, a research firm said.
Fitch Solutions Macro Research in the Africa Monitor report for southern Africa released Wednesday, said depressed uranium prices due to overcapacity led to a more cautious ramping up in production at the Chinese operated Husab mine since its first unit of production in Dec. 2016.
This culminated in a delay to achieving full production, previously earmarked for August 2018, it said.
“However a number of mine closures has helped prices rise by 41 percent since mid-April 2018,” Fitch added.
According to the report, with China as the main buyer of Namibian uranium, and following their completion of a number of nuclear reactors at home, coupled with stronger demand from France, Fitch expects demand for uranium to increase in 2019.
“We therefore believe this upswing in uranium demand will ensure completion of works at Husab uranium mine during 2019 and translate into more robust economic growth in the quarters ahead,” the report added.
Meanwhile Fitch said expansion in mining activity and manufacturing in the southwestern African nation will help to drive up job creation and wages, supporting the key wholesale and retail trade sector in 2019.