Rössing Uranium – Moving forward to the New Era
(16 July 2021)

Report to Stakeholders 2020

It is with great pleasure that Rössing Uranium releases the 2020 Rössing Uranium Report to Stakeholders under the theme “Moving forward to the New Era.”

The report is a valuable source of information about Rössing Uranium’s activities. We believe in open communication and this report outlines how we performed in 2020. The report offers locally relevant information about our business and other aspects raised during the year.

Rössing Uranium has been a feature of the Namibian economy for close to 45 years and is therefore well versed in the nation’s mining business making significant contributions to the development of Namibia. With the current challenges, we are confident that Rössing will continue to be a major supplier of energy to the world, as well as delivering value to our shareholders and other stakeholders.

The year 2020 will go down in history as an unforgettable and challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the whole world. However the mine achieved some positive milestones as highlighted below:

The uranium market

2020 was an unforgettable year in terms of global events and their consequent impact on the uranium industry. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world swiftly and badly during the year, it underlined the importance of electricity reliability and resilience during times of major disruption.

In 2020, Rössing produced 5.5 million pounds U3O8. A total of 2.0 million pounds were shipped to western converters and sold to customers in North America, Asia (excluding China), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). A total of 4.0 million pounds, including some production from the 2019 year, were shipped to China and sold to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Rössing continued to benefit from the contractual sales prices in its historical contract portfolio, as well as the beneficial CNNC off-take agreement, with an average sales price across the entire portfolio well above the average spot price for the year.

Business prospects going forward

In 2020 the Company went through many changes, some of these under less-than-favourable operational circumstances, but we achieved a lot:

  • A total of 19.4 million tonnes of rock (13 per cent less than in 2019) of which 9.2 million tonnes was economic uranium-bearing ore (7 per cent more than in 2019), and 10.0 million tonnes were waste and low-grade ore (including 0.2 million tonnes dumped in-pit).
  • A total of 2,489 tonnes of uranium oxide in 2020, which is marginally higher compared with production in 2019 of 2,449 tonnes.
  • Revenue was significantly higher than in 2019, which can be attributed to a 38% increase in sales volumes, combined with a significant deterioration in the USD/NAD exchange rate at the start of the COVID-19 global outbreak.

Several mitigating actions were taken to maintain operations during the year, which included temporary scaled down operations and additional health and safety measures to ensure the health of our employees throughout. The weaker exchange rate and mitigation steps however impacted cost efficiency. In addition, the extreme and sudden devaluation of the Namibia dollar resulted in significant exchange rate losses, both on prepayments for 2020 sales, as well as the foreign currency hedge derivative, which neutralised the exchange rate benefit from the revenue stream, ultimately resulting in a reduced net profit after tax from normal operations of N$443 million (2019: N$503 million). 2021 will be an exciting year. Capital investment made in 2020 will support us in running a safer and more efficient operation. We will continue with the business integration process with CNUC, rolling out the purpose statement and integrated values (Safety, Coordination, Responsibility and Innovation)

Building the local economy

Rössing remains committed to support local suppliers, including spend on developing SMEs. The bulk of the Namibian spend remains in the Erongo Region (38 per cent) and Khomas Region (50 per cent). Spend within the Erongo Region reduced significantly due to COVID-19 and the lockdown measures imposed on the region, which negatively impacted suppliers’ operations.

  • In 2020, despite the global economic challenges posed by COVID-19, Rössing Uranium’s total spend for goods and services for our operations was N$2.77 billion during 2020 (2019: N$2.72 billion).
  • Total procurement from international suppliers amounted to N$227 million, representing 8 per cent of total procurement expenditure, excluding South Africa, where goods and services to the value of N$370 million (14%) of total procurement was spend.
  • During 2020, we invested N$25.8 million in Namibian communities, directly as well as through the Rössing Foundation.

The Company’s Value Addition statement on pages 74 to 77 of the report, reflects the wealth created through the sale of uranium oxide produced, payment for services to suppliers, taxes to the Namibian government, payments to employees and the investments made in neighbouring communities. The Rössing Foundation’s annual report will be available on its website soon – please visit the website www.rossingfoundation.com for information on the significant work done by the Rössing Foundation.

Employer of Choice

Aspiring to be an employer of choice, Rössing Uranium provides long-term and rewarding employment by investing in our 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 2020, Rössing Uranium had a workforce totalling 955 compared with 1,000 at the end of 2019, with 98.8 per cent of the workforce being Namibian and only 1.2 per cent expatriates from other nationalities.

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.

We achieved a significant milestone with an All Injury Frequency Rate which has reduced to 0.34 against a target of 0.61, the best performance the mine has recorded since inception.

Our response to Covid-19

Business unusual was the order of the day during 2020, especially in the early part of the year when the COVID-19 pandemic was first felt.

The mine was in minimal operational mode, when mining operations were forced to slow down between March and June, while controls were implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19 on-site. In addition to implementing control measures as prescribed by the World Health Organisation, later further enhancing these measures by complying with the State of Emergency and other Government directives, Rössing Uranium introduced a COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan (ERP).

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.

Issued by:
Johan Coetzee
Managing Director
Rössing Uranium Limited

Please address your enquiries, comments, concerns or suggestions about the Report to Stakeholders for 2020 to:

Daylight Ekandjo
Manager: Corporate Communication
Rössing Uranium Limited, 28 Hidipo Hamutenya Avenue, Private Bag 5005, Swakopmund
T : +264 (0)64 520 2288 M : +264 (0)81 639 2950


Rössing Uranium MD Johan Coetzee handing over a copy of the Stakeholder Report 2020 to the Governor of Erongo Region Neville Andre Itope