Staff Writer

CNNC Rössing Uranium recorded a N$503 million net profit for period January 2019 to December 2019, an increase from N$166 million recorded in 2018, the company’s latest Report to Stakeholders shows.

This comes as the uranium miner’s revenue was in line with those of prior year at N$2.82 billion during the period under review.

“Lower sales volumes were largely offset by a more favorable exchange rate. However, a 15 percent reduction in operating costs had a positive impact on profits before tax. The reduced costs largely contributed to an improved net profit after tax from normal operations of N$503 million (2018: N$166 million),” Rössing Uranium Limited Managing Director, Johan Coetzee.

“2020 and the next few years will still be challenging, but with our new majority shareholder we are confident that we will build from a solid base, exploring various opportunities to remain a competitive supplier of uranium into the nuclear energy market.”

A total of 2,449 tonnes of uranium oxide was produced in 2019, marginally lower when compared with 2018’s production of 2,479 tonnes, whilst ending the year with healthy inventories on site. “A total of 22.4 million tonnes of rock was mined, (13 percent more than in 2018) of which 8.6 million tonnes was economic uranium-bearing ore, (seven percent more than in 2018), with13.3 million tonnes waste and low grade ore mined,” Coetzee said.

He said of the 11 percent uranium produced by Namibia in 2019, as part the world’s primary production of uranium oxide, Rössing Uranium accounted for 3.9 percent of the production.

“This is a significant achievement for both Rössing Uranium and Namibia. 75 per cent of Rössing’s total production was delivered under long-term contracts and several historical spot contracts. The remaining production will be sold during 2020 to China, to be loaded into CNNC nuclear reactors. This vertical integration into the CNNC group opens a significant marketing opportunity into China for Rössing Uranium,” he said.

Coetzee said the company in the period under review has spent N$2.72 billion in expenditure for goods and services to maintain safe operations, of which 75 per cent, (N$2.03 billion), was spent with Namibian registered suppliers.

“The bulk of the Namibian spend was in the Erongo Region (43 percent) and Khomas Region (44 percent). Total procurement from international suppliers amounted to N$373 million, representing 14 per cent of total procurement expenditure, excluding South Africa, where goods and services to the value of N$311 million (11 percent) of total procurement was spend,” he said.

“Rössing invested N$26 million in Namibian communities during 2019, directly and through the Rössing Foundation. This is a 100 per cent increase compared with the previous year.”

In July last year, China National Nuclear Corporation, (CNNC), a subsidiary of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation Limited (CNNC), concluded the purchase of Rio Tinto’s 68.62 percent shareholding in Rössing Uranium,