2014 was a year Rössing Uranium Managing Director, Werner Duvenhage and his executive management team would like to forget. Speaking at a stakeholder engagement session this week, Duvenhage described 2014 as extremely tough.
“In the history of Rössing, 2014 will undoubtedly be remembered as a tough year in which a number of operational changes were made to ensure progress was made in securing the mine’s future. In our 39-year history, there have been periods when we have experienced similarly challenging periods. We are looking beyond the current difficult times therefore, and we remain positive,” said Duvenhage.
“Despite the challenges, we are particularly proud that our workforce has shown resilience, commitment and creativity in respect of overcoming theses issues,” said an upbeat Duvenhage. Despite turning the tide and helping Rössing realise profit for the 2013 financial year following three years of consecutive losses, Duvenhage’s attempts to steer the Rio Tinto operation towards profit in two consecutive periods was not realised after Rössing slumped to an N$91 million net loss after tax. Said Duvenhage, “The impact of lower prices and the lower production figures strained our revenue which reduced by 19% compared to the previous year, and in turn lead to a net loss of N$91 million while we reported a net profit of N$32 million in 2013, but losses in 2012, 2011 and 2010. Our turnover in 2014 was N$2.4 billion, down from N$2.9 billion in 2013.” Added Duvenhage, “we are continuously reviewing all our business operations to come up with feasible survival option. What we foresee is that with the input from all employees, we will have to come up with initiatives that would see us through this difficult period.” According to Duvenhage, Rössing is currently reviewing cost savings alternatives which were initiated by employees. “One such project is the compressor optimisation, another our tailings storage facility water extraction project, and the Tulip-plug project that is saving millions with blasting in our open pit.” Concluded Duvenhage, “To our credit, we have an excellent supply of uranium bearing ore from our open pit, a number of sales contracts running beyond 2017.”