Not yet sold

Sharlien Tjambari

The Ministry of Mines and Energy cautioned in a statement on Thursday that the sale of Rössing Uranium Limited to China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) is still subjected to certain Government approvals and by the Namibian Competitions Commission.

CNUC is set to buy out Rio Tinto’s 68,62 % stake in Rössing Uranium Limited (RUL). RUL owns the Rössing Mine. Other shareholders are: the Namibian Government (3.4%) through Epangelo, The Islamic Republic of Iran owns 15,29 % in RUL through its Foreign Investment Company. Iran bought the stake before its fallout with the West decades ago and has no taking rights on Rössing Mine (it has no right to uranium ore or yellow cake produced).
The Industrial Development Company of South Africa owns 10.22% and the other minority shareholders own a combined 2.5%.
Following the announcement recently that Rio Tinto and CNUC signed a sales agreement, and subsequent media reporting that China is set for a monopoly on Namibia’s uranium mining (Husab is 100 % Chinese-owned, the Ministry of Mines and Energy issued a statement to set some aspects of the record straight.
The most important factor, according to the statement is that neither Government approval nor Competition Commission approval has been obtained yet. This can only be interpreted that the deal is not yet final.
Secondly, the Ministry also assured that should the deal go through, the other existing share-holders remain (in total 31,38 %) and that it is inaccurate to assume Rössing Mine would be 100 % Chinese-owned.
According to the statement the Ministry of Mines and Energy has knowledge of the selling since 2017, but admitted to date it has not yet seen the sales agreement. The Ministry undertakes to inform the public on issues of public interest and assured it business as usual at the Mine until further notice.

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