Rössing deal almost complete

The sale of Rio Tinto's 69% shareholding in the Rössing Uranium to a Chinese state corporation is expected to be finalised in the next few months.

10 May 2019 | Business

Rio Tinto's sale of its 69% shareholding in Rössing Uranium Mine to the China National Corporation is pending regulatory approval and is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.

According to the president of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, Zebra Kasete, the agreement was entered into in November 2018.

“While this transaction has received widespread criticism in the local media, the sale will underpin continuation of operations at Rössing mine, especially in a low uranium price environment,” said Kasete.

Kasete listed the highlights of the mining industry in Namibia in his report and said that despite job losses in the mining sector, the redevelopment of two old mines and the construction of a cement plant have helped to reabsorb some of the retrenched workers.

He said the reopening of the Namib Lead and Zinc Mine at an investment of US$21.4 million made significant progress in 2018 with first production expected in the second quarter of this year.

“Upon completion the mine will create 150 new jobs in the sector,” said Kasete.

The old Uis tin mine is being redeveloped by AfriTin Mining for which a phase one processing plant has been constructed.

Furthermore the new cement plant owned by Whale Rock Cement was completed last year and has commenced with the mining of limestone and cement production.

According to Kasete the operation will create 450 new permanent jobs in the industry.

But a persistently depressed uranium market continued to jeopardise operations at the Langer Heinrich mine, eventually resulting in Paladin's decision to place the mine on care and maintenance in May last year. Subsequently 600 employees were retrenched.

However a concept study conducted towards the end of last year examined a possible early restart of Langer Heinrich and delivered positive results indicating multiple options to lower costs and sustain cost competiveness.

The results have prompted Paladin to initiate prefeasibility studies, focusing on optimisation areas and will also examine Langer Heinrich's capacity to produce vanadium as a saleable co-product and thereby increase the projects long term value.

This will position the mine for possible early re-start should there be a substantial improvement in the uranium price.

Falling lithium prices in the second half of last year negatively affected the profitability of Desert Lion operations.

Consequently Desert Lion suspended operations at the old Rubikon and Helikon mines just outside Karibib. The company was producing lithium concentrate from stockpiled ore for shipment to China through an off-take agreement with the buyer.

Subsequently the company is in the process of raising capital to further develop the mine with an added contractor on site, while a preliminary economic assessment of the project was completed which reported positive project economics.

The African Tantalum operation was also producing tantalum near Warmbad with five shipments up until July last year. Unfortunately water shortages at the African Tantalum mine resulted in the operation significantly reducing production and retrenchments of 94 employees. The company embarked on an extensive drilling campaign.

The Imerys Gecko joint venture suspended production at its Okanjande Graphite mine in November 2018 and placed the operation on care and maintenance, retrenching 128 employees.

Low prices of natural graphite did not warrant continuation of operations from which the mine was producing high-quality graphite. Transportation of ore to the Okorusu processing plant, some 88 km away, was also a major contributor to high operation costs.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

‘Govt is failing manufacturing’

1 day - 27 February 2020 | Business

"Our suspicion that corruption is one of the biggest enemies facing our members is no longer a suspicion," the chairperson of the Namibian Manufacturers Association...

Solar power dims ECB revenue

1 day - 27 February 2020 | Business

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) recorded revenue of N$86.3 million for 2018/19, an increase of 3.6% compared to the previous financial year.The ECB’s main source...

Phase two of MTC's 081Every1 launched

1 day - 27 February 2020 | Business

Phase two of MTC's billion-dollar 081Every1 network project plans to roll-out a total number of 102 sites and is expected to be completed by September...

Company news in brief

1 day - 27 February 2020 | Business

Rio Tinto posts jump in full-year earningsAnglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto yesterday posted an 18% rise in 2019 underlying earnings as a surge in iron ore...

WBSR invests N$93.6 mln in new plant

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

With an investment of N$93.6 million in a new salt processing plant Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (WBSR) can now target international markets as the company...

Wanted: Business direction

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government policy – or the lack thereof, government regulation, government failure, government’s fiscal position and the recession: Ask the business sector in...

Let's work together and solve important problems

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

Chantell Husselmann - The PwC Business School has started the year 2020 on a high note with a special occasion that marks the first of...

Deere taps into tech in bid to break ground...

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co. is teaming up with the “Uber of tractors” in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon...

NSX bears brunt of recession

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The recession didn’t spare the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) last year: Trading volumes dropped and the share prices of most of the...

Managing checks and balances

2 days ago - 26 February 2020 | Business

B7: Explain your job in a nutshell.PA: An integral part of my job is to manage Nedbank Namibia’s liquidity, funding and interest rate risk in...

Latest News

Shimbulu reinstatement declared illegal

20 hours ago | Politics

Oshakati town council legal consultant Jan Greyling has penned a damning opinion on the nomination and swearing-in of Katrina Shimbulu as a councillor, and her...

Has ACC finally awoken from...

20 hours ago | Opinion

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has for years stomached bashing for its perceived 'small fish' approach to corruption.In fact, there is nothing suggesting that corruption has...

Samherji throws lifeline to Geysir...

20 hours ago | Labour

Workers currently on Samherji's Geysir vessel, which is fishing in Mauritania, will keep their jobs, while the rest of the crew who were left in...

MTC to build 270 houses

20 hours ago | Infrastructure

MTC is planning to construct 270 houses and will partner with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) for the delivery of the homes in...

Neckartal level at 5.2%

20 hours ago | Weather

The multibillion-dollar Neckartal Dam has received inflow of about 45 million cubic metres of water since the beginning of this month. To put this in...

The passion of Cassidy Karon

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

We all can pretty much nod at the fact that Cassidy Karon is currently at the frontline of youth, fashion and street culture in Namibia....

The flip-flop drag

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

After years of tossing and turning in their grave, the fashion gods and ancestors have finally defeated the powers of death and risen once again....

Online, online, online!

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Since taking over tjil last year, I have been met with praise, yet also criticism. I have been met with pride, yet also concern. It's...

Song Night is back

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Consistently exceeding expectations of nurturing the Namibian sound, Song Night, now sponsored by RMB, pledges to focus even more on mentoring musicmakers and bringing explosive...

Load More