The event took place at the Rössing Uranium mine site near Arandis.
Jerome Mutumba, Manager Corporate Communications and External Relations said, "The report aims to give our stakeholders an overview of our activities from January to December 2009, as well as of the company's interactions with its communities, the environment and its contribution to the national economy."
Mutumba said that "As an established, experienced and reliable producer of uranium oxide, Rössing Uranium remains in an excellent position to grow its business for many years to come, for the benefit of our stakeholders and Namibia."
In 2009, Rössing continued to contribute to the world uranium market, with Namibia now ranking in the fourth position at 11.8 per cent of the world's primary produced uranium. I am proud to say that we have added much value to Namibia, as we have done since the mine started in 1976, and we intend to continue doing so for many years to come."
Part of the exciting developments in 2009 was the extension of the life of mine. A new life-of-mine plan was approved by the Company's Board of Directors in August 2009, extending it to 2023, which signifies our investment in the future.
He said that in the wake of the global financial recession the company experienced a reduction in revenue due to an overall weak uranium price and an unfavourable N$:US$ exchange rate that prevailed in 2009.
However, overall the Company remained profitable with a total wealth of N$1.6 billion created in 2009, although this was 44 per cent lower than in 2008."
Moving forward, the mine's expansion programme requires significant financial investments in its future. These would involve costly waste rock stripping to expose the uranium bearing ore and to acquire new heavy mining equipment for the open pit. Another ongoing expansion activity is the mine's heap leaching pilot plant.
During the year under review the volatility of the uranium price continued, cycling between a high of US$53 per pound in January and a low of US$42 per pound of uranium oxide in September, as the effects of the world financial crisis continued.
"However, the long-term outlook for the mine remains bright."
"Our expansion investment requires an increase in manpower, but skills shortage continued to be one of the main challenges faced by the mining industry in Namibia, especially in light of increased competition from other uranium operations in the Erongo Region," quoted Mutumba from the report.
We continue to focus sharply on equipping our existing staff with various skills and offering them leadership training. We have also invested extensively in our potential future workforce, supporting 130 bursary apprentices and 60 university students in 2009.
A total of N$18.4 million was spent on training and development programmes during 2009, benefiting 440 participants. This brings the total investment in training and development programmes to more than N$65 million since 2005.
In the same vein, we believe that ploughing back into the communities in which we operate is as important as creating shareholder value. Part of this commitment entailed our investment of N$11.6 million in the Rössing Foundation's activities.
The full report is available on the Company's website at www.Rössing.com
Manager Corporate Communications and External Relations