Africa-Press – Namibia. RÖSSING Uranium exceeded budgeted production targets by a significant margin, with the 2 882 tonnes of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) produced in 2021 representing a 16% increase compared to 2020.
This was said by Rössing Uranium’s managing director, Johan Coetzee, when he launched the company’s 2021 report to stakeholders last month.
“To produce this product, we had to mine 20,7 million tonnes of rock and process 9,6 million tonnes of ore,” he said.
“We were able to achieve this excellent performance safely and efficiently through the commitment and hard work of our own employees, as well as the support of contractors delivering services to us,” he said.
He said Rössing Uranium, which celebrated 45 years of operations, again had an excellent year (2021) in terms of safety and production.
Coetzee noted that despite the sales volume being 11% higher than in 2020, revenue was 6% lower, at N$4,26 billion, due to the impact of a stronger Namibia dollar against the US dollar.
“In 2021, a 76% sales volume was delivered to Asia, of which 90% was sold to the majority shareholder China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC), a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation Limited (CNNC).
“The remaining 26% was delivered under the longterm contract portfolio to North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” he said.
At the end of December 2021, Rössing had a total of 943 permanent employees, 99% of them Namibians, Coetzee noted.
The company boasts a 20% representation of women in its workforce, employed across all levels of the organisation, he said.
As a major employer and purchaser of goods and services, Rössing Uranium made a significant contribution to economic development in the Erongo region in particular, and Namibia at large.
Despite the prevailing market conditions and challenges posed by Covid-19 in 2021, Rössing’s total procurement expenditure amounted to N$3,01 billion, compared to the N$2,77 billion in 2020, Coetzee said in a statement.
“Rössing remains committed to supporting local suppliers, including spending on developing SMEs.
As in previous years, most of the procurement expenditure was on local suppliers, amounting to N$2,25 billion or 75% of total procurement expenditure. About 14% went to South Africa, while the remaining 11% was spent internationally,” he said.
During the period under review, Rössing Uranium paid the government N$111 million in royalty tax, and N$167 million as pay-asyou-earn tax on behalf of employees.
No corporate tax dividends were paid in 2021.
Payments to public enterprises such as NamWater and NamPower amounted to N$464,2 million. This amount included a total of N$8 million that was paid as the Vocational Education and Training levy.
According to Coetzee, in 2021 Rössing Uranium invested directly, and indirectly, about N$14 million in communities through contributions to the Rössing Foundation.
“In November 2020, the board approved a bankable feasibility study for extending the life-of-mine beyond 2026.
“Work on the project is progressing well and the final report and recommendations will inform an investment decision by end 2022 or early 2023.”
Rössing Uranium continues to invest in and upgrade existing facilities on site to ensure the continued safe and efficient production of uranium oxide, Coetzee said.
“A total of 48 major engineering projects were undertaken during 2021, the biggest being the construction of an additional 60 000m 3 fresh water storage capacity, at a cost of just over N$100 million. A total of N$204 million was invested in these projects.”