A new era of optimism
2019 will be remembered as the beginning of a fruitful new era in Rössing Uranium’s rich history. The change of majority shareholder marks a historic landmark and ushers in a new phase of optimism and prosperity for the mine.
As the world’s longest-operated uranium mine and one of the most influential uranium mines in the world, Rössing has made major contributions to the international safe use of nuclear energy over the past 43 years. Now, as part of a global player and the internationally influential China National Nuclear Corporation Limited (CNNC) group, Rössing and our employees can look forward to an exciting future.
As the Vice President of CNNC, Mr He Zixing, stated in his message at the handover event, the most important significance of this cooperation is that the strong nuclear power market of China will provide opportunities and guarantees for Rössing to keep long-term, stable and sustainable development going in Namibia.
But it is not only our employees that will benefit. This new partnership also opened a new world in terms of shared knowledge and experience in the specialist field of nuclear power. We have already witnessed the effect of this cooperation when we explored the advantages of using downhole logging methods in our ore sampling activities — read more about this positive development later in this report.
Achievement: safety performance
Confirming our commitment to working safely and achieving zero harm, we are proud of our safety performance in 2019: the mine recorded an All-Injury Frequency Rate* (AIFR) of 0.49 for the year, against a target of 0.61. This is the second-best safety performance in the history of the mine — another important milestone for Rössing.
Confirming this achievement, we won the Chamber of Mines of Namibia’s best safety award in the operating mines category — a proud accomplishment.
Sustaining our business
In 2019, we increased the mining of rock from the open pit with 13 per cent, from 19.8 million tonnes in 2018 to 22.4 million tonnes in 2019. We milled 8,006,058 metric tonnes (2018: 8,851,288 metric tonnes) of ore, leading to a production of 2,449 tonnes compared with 2,479 in 2018.
Revenue was in line with 2018 at N$2.82 billion. Lower sales volumes were largely offset by a more favourable exchange rate. However, a 15 per cent reduction in operating costs had a positive impact on profits before tax. The reduced costs largely contributed to an improved net profit after tax from normal operations of N$503 million (2018: N$166 million).
As a major employer and a purchaser of goods and services, Rössing’s contribution to the economic development in Namibia, and more specifically in the Erongo Region, is significant. In 2019, our total expenditure for goods and services for our operations amounted to N$2.72 billion (2018: N$2.49 billion), of which 75 per cent was spent with Namibianregistered suppliers. The bulk of what we spend in Namibia remains in the Erongo (43 per cent) and Khomas (44 per cent) regions.
A word of appreciation to the Minister of Mines and Energy in 2019, Hon. Tom Alweendo, for his support during the transition process on behalf of the Government of Namibia.
I would also like to thank our employees for their hard work and positivity.
Thank you to all our stakeholders for their interest in our business. Please feel free to contact us for any comments or inputs to improve our annual report to you.
30 April 2020
* All-injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) derived from the total number of all injuries (i.e. medical treatment cases, lost-day injuries and restricted work-day injuries) per 200,000 employee hours worked.