ONE of the longest-running and largest open pit uranium mines in Namibia, Rössing Uranium Mine Limited, has reported that the transfer in ownership of the mine is likely to become a reality by mid-year.
Rio Tinto, Rössing’s majority owner, announced on 26 November 2018 that it had entered into a binding agreement to sell its 68.62% stake in the uranium mine to China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC). “The sale process continues, but we have already had positive discussions with CNUC and they have stressed their intention to develop the mine as a sustainable business into the future,” said Rössing Managing Director, Richard Storrie. Storrie added that the top priority for him and the team remains operating a safe and productive mine that continues to meet the needs of their customers. He added that the sale is subject to certain conditions precedent, including merger approval from the Namibian Competition Commission. Subject to these conditions being met, the transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019.Currently, Rio Tinto owns the majority 69% when it comes to voting rights. The Namibian government has a 3% shareholding, but has 51% when it comes to voting rights. The Iranian Foreign Investment Company (IFIC), a non-taking right investor in Rössing Uranium, holds a 15% stake.
Rössing has also reported that its uranium production in 2018 increased by 17% compared to 2017, as a result of higher milling grades. The year also ended with strong safety performance with zero injuries in December.