Our People

Our workforce remains the backbone of our business, as they drive productivity to achieve our goals and objectives. Our people continue to be a key focus in our sustainable development approach. This approach assures a safe and healthy workplace, geared for human resource development - allowing us to attract and retain employees.

Aspiring to be an employer of choice, Rössing Uranium provides long-term and rewarding employment.

We believe that, through employment creation, the mine is making significant contributions to society and the economy. We therefore strive to keep our workforce engaged through implementing initiatives that benefits the company and our employees.

The Human Resources department supports our organisational objectives by maximising the employment value proposition through the attraction, development and retention of employees, making Rössing Uranium an employer of choice in the Namibian mining industry.


Workforce at a glance

In the previous reporting period, we changed from continuous operations to a five-day operating model due to volatile market conditions.

However, from 1 October 2015, we returned to continuous operations to meet operational requirements. We employed an additional 92 employees to be able to do so and therefore, by the end of 2015, our staff complement consisted of 948 full-time employees, compared to 850 at the end of 2014.

The average number of contractors at the mine for the reporting period was 880.


Employee relations

Employee relations continued to be an important focus area for our business during 2015. We strive to maintain harmonious employee relations with our workforce. A communication and engagement strategy is in place to ensure that all employee relation issues are addressed timeously.

The three-year salary agreement that was signed during the 2014 reporting year for the period 2015 to 2017 between the company and the Rössing Uranium branch of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia remains in force.

Inclusion and diversity

We are committed to embracing inclusion and diversity as part of our organisational culture and operational model. This is in line with Rio Tinto's core values to ensure that our employees feel included, respected and empowered to contribute their best. Evidence of our approach is clear from the data in the table on page 21, which shows our workforce profile for the past five years.

Organisational effectiveness

Our people make our company what it is and 2015 saw many initiatives underway to help support and grow our staff.

As always, we are committed to being a major contributor to building capacity among our employees through various capacity development programmes.

These activities serve as the basis of employee retention and growth within Rössing Uranium, as well as developing young Namibians as part of our social corporate responsibility.

n addition, performance management remains pivotal in ensuring that our business targets are linked to employees' performance objectives and are measured annually. A culture of recognition through performance management has been embedded in the company for many years and aims at driving continuous business improvement.

The next few pages highlight the initiatives that will support us in achieving our goal of empowering and developing our workforce.

Learning and development

University Bursary Scheme

A total of ten bursary students received Rössing Uranium support during 2015 to study at college or university at a total investment of N$763,166 (excluding vacation work).

Seven new bursaries in the fields of Chemistry, as well as Chemical, Mining and Mechanical Engineering were awarded during 2015 for 2016 in line with operational requirements determined by the annual human resources plan review.

The educational assistance scheme for employee dependants at tertiary level supported 25 individuals at a total investment of N$258,326.

Apprentice training

A total of ten apprentices on bursaries were supported during 2015 and completed there job attachments as part of their tertiary curriculum. The job attachments exposed them to on-the-job learning within their various disciplines.

Organisational development

Vocational Education and Training (VET) levy

The Namibian Government's aim with this levy is to facilitate and encourage vocational education and training. The levy rate is 1 per cent of an employer's total annual payroll.

We have participated in the VET levy system since the regulations took effect in April 2014. We contributed N$5.11 million for the period April 2014 to March 2015, of which N$3.92 million were submitted for refund purposes.

The "Making a difference" initiative

Recognition is a key driver to improve employee performance and build employee engagement and pride. In 2014 we launched the 'Making a difference' (MAD) initiative.

Through this programme employees are eligible to receive awards in six categories:

  • Living our values
  • Health, safety, environment and community
  • Business value
  • Replication
  • Team membership/leadership
  • Community involvement

During the reporting year a total of 107 employees received MAD awards.

Technical training

We trained 89 new operators on various types of heavy mobile equipment, engineering equipment and processing equipment during 2015.


20 trade and university bursary students received support from Rössing Uranium during 2015.



Our people

  • Our workforce is the backbone of our business as they drive productivity to achieve our goals and objectives.
  • We returned to continuous operations to meet operational requirements.
  • We employed an additional 92 employees to be able to meet operational requirements, and by the end of 2015, our staff complement consisted of 948 fulltime employees.
  • A total of ten bursary students received support to study at college or university; a further ten trade bursaries were awarded during 2015.
  • Despite low uranium oxide production and challenging economic times, we invested a total of N$5.4 million in various training programmes during 2015, benefitting 75 participants.

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To ensure a safe working area, all employees are required to assess critical risks in their work area prior to starting work. Critical risk management safety signs in all work areas help to identify and manage the 11 critical risks at the mine.