Rössing Uranium sustainability report highlights progress during 2022
Rössing Uranium Limited this week released its 2022 Sustainability and Performance Report, highlighting the company’s continued efforts of a good safety record and operational achievements for the period under review.
The report details the progress Rössing made last year on its commitments, including the Life of Mine Extension project, the commissioning of its new water reservoirs valued at N$100 million, its production outcomes, and celebrating no fatalities in 2022, among others.
In terms of safety, Rössing had an excellent year in 2022, as the company recorded an All Injury Frequency Rate of 0.43 against the target of 0.48.
Speaking during the official launch of the report, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Kornelia Shilunga, commended the miner’s sustainability efforts and affirmed that the health and safety of employees remain central to the long-term sustainability of the mine.
“The mining industry cannot afford to become complacent but needs to do what is required to achieve the goal of the fatality-free mining industry in Namibia and maintain that record for many years to come,” she said.
She further encouraged youth involvement in the mining industry, suggesting that the best strategy to empower them where the mine is operating and beyond is to invest in related sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, etc.
She said that this would, in turn, provide a positive impetus to the local economy, noting that young people need to develop new capabilities in sustainability to capture and create available job opportunities, especially in the “local” downstream services industry.
“We are currently at a crossroads, and this calls for an urgent intervention for the creation of opportunities and solutions to achieve sustainable and broad-based economic growth and empowerment of our youth without harming or degrading the environment,” Shilunga said, adding that to achieve this, the mining companies need to “seriously” implement their corporate social responsibility programmes as an integral part of the progress made on sustainability and performance reporting.
Meanwhile, Rössing recorded total revenues of N$4.84 billion with net profit after tax of N$840 million and an interim dividend of N$49.7 million.
Representatives of the company’s majority shareholders China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) were present at the launch, as well as the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta.
In 2022, 9 million tonnes of ore were milled, compared to 9.6 million tonnes in 2021. Additionally, a total of 2659 metric tonnes of uranium oxide was produced, compared to 2882 metric tonnes in 2021.
Even in an economically turbulent year, Rössing stood by their commitment to contribute to the economic development in the Erongo region and the country at large. The miner’s total spend on local suppliers amounted to N$ 2.54 billion in 2022, accounting for 74% of its total procurement expenditure.
Rössing’s Managing Director, Johan Coetzee, said the company contributed approximately 4.4% to world primary production during 2022, maintaining that Namibia is now the 3rd largest primary producer of uranium oxide (U3O8) worldwide, after Kazakhstan and Canada.
“Our production was lower when compared to 2021. A total of 16.6 million tonnes was mined, compared to 20.7 million tonnes in 2021, with waste and low-grade ore totalling 7.4 million tonnes,” Coetzee said.
He explained that the lower mining volume was due to the stripping ratio of waste ore decreasing as they moved deeper into the pit.
From the Left, Mr Jingtao (Frank) Chang; Vice-President of CNUC Namibia and majority shareholder representative, Mr Harry Louw, Rössing Director, Advocate Deidre Sauls-Deckenbrock, Independent Non-Executive Director and Board Vice-Chairperson; Mr Steve Galloway, Board Chairperson; Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Kornelia Shilunga; China National Nuclear Corperation Chairman, Mr Yu Jianfeng; Managing Director Johan Coetzee; Government representative, Mrs Gloria Simubali; Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhao Weiping and the Chairman of China National Uranium Corporation, Mr Chen Junli.