Namibia has revoked the rule which requires companies seeking mining exploration licences to be partly owned and managed by black Namibians.
The chamber of mines said the requirements have been scrapped by Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo in a letter to the group.
Hilifa Mbako, the chamber’s vice president, described the decision as “the most important fundamental decision for future investment into Namibia.”
In 2017 alone, mining contributed 12.2 percent to the Namibia’s gross domestic product.
The scrapped policy was introduced in 2015 to increase the participation of historically disadvantaged black Namibians in some of the country’s most lucrative business projects.
It held that any company applying for an exploration licence must have a minimum 20 percent representation of black Namibians. At least 5 percent of the company also had to be owned by Namibians or by a company wholly-owned by Namibians.
Whites make up only about 6 percent of Namibia’s population of 2.4 million, but overwhelmingly dominate business ownership. Earlier in the year, president Hage Geingob announced plans of government to launch the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) a black economic empowerment plan aimed at addressing inequality, despite industry resistance.