Namibia’s Rössing Uranium eyes increased production

 Namibia’s Rössing Uranium eyes increased production

Namibia’s Rössing Uranium eyes increased production.

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WINDHOEK-One of Namibia’s largest mining companies Rössing Uranium, in operation for the past 45 years are eyeing increased production in the forthcoming year hinged on favourable commodity prices worldwide.

The mining giant’s Managing Director Johan Coetzee said Rössing will continue to be a major supplier of energy to the world, as well as delivering value to our shareholders and other stakeholders.

“In 2020, Rössing produced 5.5 million pounds U3O8. A total of 2.0 million pounds were shipped to western converters and sold to customers in North America, Asia (excluding China), Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

“A total of 4.0 million pounds, including some products from the 2019 year, were shipped to China and sold to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Rössing continued to benefit from the contractual sales prices in its historical contract portfolio, as well as the beneficial CNNC off-take agreement, with an average sales price across the entire portfolio well above the average spot price for the year,” Coetzee said.

He said the company has seen its production marginally improving resulting in the production of 2,489 tonnes of uranium oxide in 2020, which is marginally higher compared with production in 2019 of 2,449 tonnes.

The uranium giant now under the ownership of the Chinese also saw its revenue increasing significantly at the back of increased sales volumes, combined with a significant deterioration of the USD against the local trading currency.

“Several mitigating actions were taken to maintain operations during the year, which included temporary scaled down operations and additional health and safety measures to ensure the health of our employees throughout. The weaker exchange rate and mitigation steps however impacted cost efficiency. In addition, the extreme and sudden devaluation of the Namibia dollar resulted in significant exchange rate losses, both on prepayments for 2020 sales, as well as the foreign currency hedge derivative, which neutralised the exchange rate benefit from the revenue stream, ultimately resulting in a reduced net profit after tax from normal operations of N$443 million (2019: N$503 million),” Coetzee said.

Coetzee reiterated that the company remains committed to supporting local suppliers, including spend on developing SMEs.

“In 2020, despite the global economic challenges posed by COVID-19, Rössing Uranium’s total spend for goods and services for our operations was N$2.77 billion during 2020 (2019: N$2.72 billion),” he said.

He also added that a total procurement from international suppliers amounted to N$227 million, representing 8 percent of total procurement expenditure, excluding South Africa, where goods and services to the value of N$370 million (14%) of total procurement spent.

Key among the company’s priorities, Coetzee said was reinvesting in the Namibian economy resulting in N$25.8 million being  pumped into various projects in the  Namibian communities, directly as well as through the Rössing Foundation.

Tiri Masawi

is a Business Journalist and Editor for 14 years. He is currently working in Namibia and has written for several Namibian, Zimbabwean, and South African newspapers. He also works as a fixer for BBC in Namibia. He has a firm interest in reading as well as mentoring young journalists in the craft.

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