Uranium was discovered in the Namib Desert in 1928, but it was not until intensive exploration in the late 1950s that much interest was shown in the area. After discovering numerous uranium occurrences, mining company Rio Tinto secured the rights to the low-grade Rössing deposit in 1966. Ten years later, in 1976, Rössing Uranium, Namibia’s first commercial uranium mine, started production. In 2019, China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) acquired the majority shareholding in Rössing Uranium.
Today, Namibia has two significant uranium mines (Rössing Uranium and Swakop Uranium, after the Langer Heinrich Uranium mine was placed on care and maintenance during 2018), which together provide 12 per cent of the world’s uranium oxide output; in 2021 Rössing Uranium produced 5.1 per cent of the world’s output. In 2021 Rössing Uranium celebrated 45 years of production.
The mine has a nameplate capacity of 4,500 tonnes of uranium oxide per year and, by the end of 2021, had supplied a total of 142,908 tonnes of uranium oxide to the world.
The mine is located 12 km from the town of Arandis, which lies 70 km inland from the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia’s Erongo Region. Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only deep-water harbour, is located 43 km south of Swakopmund.
The mine site encompasses a mining licence and accessory works areas of 129.79 km2, of which 25 km2 is used for mining, waste disposal and processing.
Mining is done by blasting, loading and hauling from the open pit before the uranium-bearing rock is processed to produce uranium oxide.
The open pit currently measures 3.5 km by 1.5 km and is 390 m deep.
This report is aimed at all our partners and stakeholders who include private citizens and their communities, as well as non-governmental organisations, small-scale enterprises, and multinational corporations. Thus, the benefits of our operations are felt locally, nationally, across the African continent and internationally.
This report aims to give readers an overview of the activities of Rössing Uranium Limited (Rössing Uranium) from January to December 2021, including our interaction with society, the economy and the environment.
The report offers locally relevant information about our business and aspects raised during the year. We believe in open communication and transparency, and simultaneously instill a culture of sustainable development throughout our company.
We would appreciate your feedback on the content of this report. You can send us a text message to Tel. +264 81 143 3627; send an e-mail to RUL.email@example.com; contact us via our website at www.rossing.com, or phone the Communication section on Tel. +264 64 520 9111.