Rössing handed over to its new master

Sharlien Tjambari

Rio Tinto handed over the keys to the Rössing Mine to its new Chinese owner during a ceremony held at the Mine’s site on Thursday afternoon.

The Mine is now officially known as the CNNC Rössing Mine (China National Nuclear Corporation). CNNC’s subsidiary China National Uranium Corporation 9CNUC) is also involved with the mine.
Many times over the past few years there were rumours that the Rössing times over the past few years there were rumours that the Rössing Mine is closing its doors. In stark contrast to that, the mine welcomed the leaders of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and its subsi-diary China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) as its new owners.
The official handover witnessed by among others the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, Mr. He Zixing (Vice President CNNC Rössing Uranium), Ms. Foibe Namene (Chairperson of Rössing Board of Directors) and the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China to Namibia, Zhang Yiming.
The Governor of Erongo, Clr. Cleophas Mutjavikua, also attended as a guest of honour and thanked Rio-Tinto for playing a significant part in Rössing the past 43 years. Also for being the key driver in placing Rössing Uranium on the world map of the nuclear energy business.
Minister Shilunga also thanked the Mine’s leadership of the past for keeping the mine operating and urged the new owners to do exactly that. “I commend the leadership of Rössing Uranium, CNUC, CNNC and Rio Tinto for your dedication and resilience to keep the mine alive. It takes effective leadership to keep a mine like Rössing Uranium to continue to operate and be of strategic importance to Namibia for such a long time – altogether 43 years already”, the Minister is quoted.
Shilunga pointed out the mining sector contributes 14% to GDP in 2018. In the same period, the sector employed 16 221 employees directly and 6 681 as contractors. Rössing alone employs close to 2 000 people and contractors, outlining the immense both the Mine and the wider mining sector means for Namibia’s economic growth.
“It is thus imperative that all the stakeholders of the mine take hands and work to keep the wheels turning at Rössing. I congratulate you all for successfully concluding the transaction, with everybody’s best interests in mind”, the Minister further stated.
The Vice President of CNNC Rössing Uranium, He Zixing, in his address said Rössing Uranium Mine is the longest-operating uranium mine globally and also the most influential in the global business of uranium. It is among the biggest contributor to the international peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Zixing took the opportunity to thank the management and employees of the mine, past and present, without whose contributions the Mine would not have been where it is today.
Zixing hailed the acquisition of the Mine from Rio Tinto as an example of China-Africa cooperation and gave his assurance the Mine will continue to do its part for economic and social development in Namibia and also a contributor to State coffers as a taxable corporate citizen.
The fact that China is a strong and consistent nuclear power market, will also greatly improve the economic future for the mine, for its employees and for its contractors.

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