Rössing Uranium's 2023 Sustainability and Performance Report officially launched
(18 June 2024)

Rössing Uranium officially launched its 2023 Sustainability and Performance Report, on 18 June, in Windhoek.

Rössing Uranium’s Managing Director Johan Coetzee gave an overview of the mine’s performance in the year 2023 and the future of the mine.

Johan said, Rössing Uranium has been a feature of the Namibian economy for close to 48 years and is therefore well versed in the nation’s mining business making significant contributions to the development of Namibia.

The uranium market

The year 2023 was indeed exceptional in terms of production and financial performance, while maintaining our high safety standards. The life-of-mine was formally extended to 2036, cementing the longevity of the operation, and the Board formally adopted King IV as a Corporate Governance Code.

In 2023, Rössing produced 6.4 million pounds of U3O8 and sold 6.9 million pounds of U3O8. Around 1.8 million pounds were shipped to western converters and sold to customers in North America, Asia (excluding China) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”). A total of 3.7 million pounds were shipped and sold to China. An additional 1.4 million pounds were sold to non-utility customers (traders and funds) on the spot market, capitalising on the sudden price spike during the year. Rössing has benefited from the spot prices under China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) sales arrangement.

Production achievements

Production in 2023 was in line with our operational plan and 10% higher than in 2022.

  • A total of 16.7 million tonnes were mined, compared to 16.6 million tonnes in 2022. Waste and low-grade ore totalled 6.8 million tonnes removed from the pit, while a further 0.1 million tonnes were dumped in-pit. The stripping ratio of waste to ore continued to decline as we moved deeper into the pit. 9.3 million tonnes of ore were milled, compared to 9.0 million tonnes in 2022.
  • A total of 2,920 metric tonnes of uranium oxide were produced, compared to 2,659 metric tonnes in 2022.
  • Total revenue earned amounted to N$6.48 billion, compared to N$4.84 billion in 2022, with net profit after tax from normal operations of N$1,340 million, compared to N$840 million in 2022.
  • Dividends of N$177 million were declared and paid during the year (2022: N$50 million).

Building the local economy

As a major employer and purchaser of goods and services, Rössing made a significant annual contribution to economic development in the Erongo Region and to Namibia at large.

  • Rössing’s total spend for goods and services for our operations was N$3.88 billion during 2023 (2022: N$3.42 billion).
  • Rössing’s spend with local suppliers amounted to N$2.86 billion during 2023 (2022: N$2.54 billion), accounting for 74% of our total procurement expenditure. The continued high percentage of local spend reflects the company’s confidence in procuring locally. N$487 million was spent with South African suppliers, representing 12% of our procurement expenditure, while we spent N$531 million with international suppliers, representing 14% of our total expenditure.

Rössing remains committed to supporting local suppliers, including spend on developing small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”). The bulk of the Namibian spend remains in the Erongo (41%) and Khomas (50%) Regions. Spend in other regions of Namibia amounted to 9%, with the highest spend in the northern region due to the current Supply of Sulphuric Acid agreement with Dundee Precious Metals in Tsumeb.

Investing in our communities

As a proudly Namibian company, Rössing Uranium accepts its corporate citizenship duties and recognises that its continuing operations are based on its ability to maintain its mining permits and licences and to secure access to land, people and capital. It uses a combination of economic, social, environmental and technical expertise to harness these resources and create reciprocated prosperity for its stakeholders.

Honouring our corporate social responsibilities, Rössing Uranium supported the Rössing Foundation and other community initiatives with an investment of over N$41 million in 2023 compared to N$29.4 million during 2022. Of this amount, N$38 million went to the Rössing Foundation, and about N$3 million was in-kind and cash contributions to worthy community initiatives.

Employer of Choice

Our people are the most important asset of our business. To sustain and expand our operations, our focus is on a safe, healthy, and engaged workforce.

As the employer of choice, Rössing Uranium provides long-term, rewarding employment by investing in its people throughout their careers. We believe that through employment creation, we are making significant contributions to society and the Namibian economy and contribute positively to our partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders.

At the end of 2023, Rössing Uranium had a workforce totalling 871 compared with 905 at the end of 2022, with 98.74 per cent of the workforce being Namibian and only 1.26 per cent being Non-Namibians.

Safety, Health and the Environment

Rössing strongly believes that all incidents, injuries, and occupational accidents are preventable, and is striving towards the goal of zero harm.

In 2023, No fatalities, permanent disability injuries or significant process safety incidents were recorded. The All-injury Frequency Rate (“AIFR”) of 0.36 was lower than the target of 0.46, underlining our commitment to achieving zero harm.

Rössing Uranium will remain diligent in the implementation of safety measures to protect our employees and contractors, as well as their families and friends

As part of Rössing Uranium’s continuous improvement focus, we are committed to protecting the environment in which we operate. Measures include a wide range of preventative monitoring activities.

Business prospects going forward

The Rössing Uranium LoME from 2027 to 2036 was approved by the Rössing Board in February 2023. A 13-year contract was signed with Beifang Mining to commence with a full contract mining service from 2024 to 2036. By the end of 2023, Beifang had mobilised a new fleet of heavy mining equipment (“HME”) to site, together with an experienced workforce trained to operate this equipment. The first blast was taken in the new Phase 4 pushback, ahead of schedule, on 21 December 2023.

Funds were also allocated for upgrades of the Rössing infrastructure and processing plant. These include construction of a 15MWe PV solar power plant, as well as expansion of

the tailings storage facility (“TSF”) to accommodate ten years’ additional tailings from the processing of Phase 4 ore. Contracts were awarded for both projects by the end of 2023, with target completion by the end of 2024 and 2025 respectively. Funds were also allocated for completion of two feasibility studies, for dewatering of the tailings stream to a higher density (thickened) tailings and for onsite treatment of plant solutions to reduce freshwater consumption. Both studies involve the construction of pilot plants. Target completion of the studies is the end of 2024 to inform an investment decision for full-scale execution by the end of 2026.

Following the approval of LoME and in the face of increasing U3O8 prices, Rössing’s long-term strategy is now focused on identifying an economic pathway for achieving higher production rates from new sources of ore, and extending the LoME beyond 2036. The potential for further expansion of the current SJ Pit is limited and the focus is therefore on development of a new open pit within the mining lease (“ML28”). The objective is to commence before 2030 and supplement feed from the SJ Pit to achieve higher production rates.

“2024 will be another important year for Rössing Uranium as we begin with substantial pushback work for the Phase 4 extension, while evaluating new opportunities that could potentially extend the life-of-mine beyond 2036,” said Johan.


Issued by:

Johan Coetzee
Managing Director
Rössing Uranium Limited

Please address your enquiries, comments, concerns or suggestions about the 2023 Sustainability and performance Report to:

Daylight Ekandjo
Manager: Corporate Communication
T : +264 (0)64 520 2288 M : +264 (0)81 639 2950