Rössing Uranium remaining on a path of growth
(9 July 2009)

Rössing Uranium is remaining on a path of growth” said Jerome Mutumba, Acting General Manager Corporate Services, at a media briefing today at the Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium mine site during the launch of the company's 2008 Report to Stakeholders.

Speaking to a group of Namibian media members, he said that the mine's vision remains to maximise the value for all its stakeholders by being a safe, significant and growing long-term supplier of uranium to the world's nuclear power industry for the generation of electricity.

With 33 years in operation, Mutumba expressed confidence in the Mine's time-tested experiences in managing health, safety and environmental issues. He is optimistic about the future of the mine.

Rössing currently produces about 8% of the world's primary produced uranium oxide.

In 2008 the mine produced 4 108 tonnes, the highest production achievement in the past 20 years and the mine has plans to increases its production of uranium oxide to 4 500 tonnes by 2012.

He said that in terms of the market outlook for 2009 onwards, it is clear that although prices for uranium oxide fell during 2008 and market uncertainty remains, the long-term market outlook is strong as supply struggles to meet the demand for uranium oxide.

“The demand for nuclear fuel is set to increase significantly as concerns about climate change issues and Green House Gas emissions, the security of energy supplies, and the increasing costs of fossil fuels encourage a renaissance in nuclear power generation plans on a global scale.”

The company's customers include nuclear power utilities in North America (41%), Europe (10%), Asia (25%) and Japan (24%), which is delivered in terms of all international safeguards. The Government of Namibia is a signatory of the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty which regulates the sale of uranium oxide to countries also signatory of the Treaty.

Mutumba stated: “While our outlook for 2009 is positive and the company is sound, the fast changing conditions around us necessitates that we tighten our belts and slow our pace of expansion, without jeopardising our long term production capacity.”

He said that in the light of the global financial crisis, the mine is following a cautious approach in all areas of cash flow management and, especially capital expenditure. The company had a turn-over of about N$4.4 billion (four point four billion) in 2008.

The wealth created in 2008 by Rössing through the sale of its uranium oxide, payment for services and supplies, taxes to the Government of Namibia and investments made in the community in which the mine operates, totalled N$2.8 billion (two point eight billion).

The company incurred expenses of nearly N$1 billion related to the Government of Namibia and State Owned Enterprises, while N$1.45 billion (one point four five billion) was paid to Namibian companies for the supply of goods and services.

Mutumba said that the company increased its exploration drilling activities of its ore body during 2008, which allowed for significant advances in developing a better understanding of the distribution of uranium in the ore body.

“With our continued drilling and development programmes we are well positioned to expand and further extend the life of our operations to well beyond 2021. This will enable us to continue to remain a significant uranium producer and a leading contributor to the Namibian economy, as we have been for the past 33 years.” said Mutumba in his presentation to the media.

He said that at the foundation of the mine's success is it business approach. “We integrate sustainable development into every aspect of the business in order to support sound environmental practices, economic and social development and corporate governance.”

The mine currently employs about 1 350 permanent employees, of which 98% are Namibian, and about 1 000 contractors are on site every day. The company spends about N$32 million annually on the education and training of its workforce.


Issued by:
Jerome Mutumba
General Manager Corporate Services (Acting)


Alwyn Lubbe
Superintendent Corporate Communications
Tel: +264 64 520 2436