The Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto officially handed over the Rössing Mine to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the new majority shareholder after the official sale its stake was announced recently.
Rio Tinto’s move to sell its majority stake in the operation to China will ensure the continuation of a 43-year-old legacy and retain jobs for about 2 000 employees.
Speaking at the hand eover ceremony earlier this week Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, said that the event signalled the dawn of a new future for all.
“With the necessary cooperation with government and stakeholders, a lot can be done for future generations,” she added.
Erongo Regional Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua welcomed the new investment and stated that the region will now focus on building a new chapter in the history of Rössing Uranium.
“We know that this new chapter would allow the businesses to prosper to the benefit of not only our stakeholders, but also the economy at large,” he said.
He Zixing, vice president of CNNC assured the employees that the take-over of shareholding will have no effect on their job security.
“This cooperation will keep continuous tax contributions from Rössing to the country and will provide employment security for about 1 000 employees and 1 000 contractors of Rössing,” he said.
He also gave the assurance that CNNC will continue to support the Rössing Foundation in order to fulfil its social responsibilities, that it will provide predictable business opportunities for local suppliers and will also promote in-depth cooperation between Namibia and China in trade, investment and industrial development.
Bold Baatar, Rio Tinto Energy and Minerals Chief Executive Officer, in his address to the Rössing workers and delegates, said while the company was the majority shareholder of Rössing Uranium, it had an opportunity to create a world class business that contributed to the growth and development of Namibia and its people.
“While selling Rio Tinto’s stake in the operation was not an easy choice to make, it was one that ensured a strong future for the business,” he added.
According to Baatar Rössing Uranium will chart a new pathway that will sustain the business for years to come.
Rio Tinto which had the majority shareholding in Rössing Uranium of 68.62 percent last week announced that the sale of its shares to CNNC was complete following approval by the Namibia Competition Commission.