A ceremonial blast on 8 May to marked the commencement of mining activities at Swakop Uranium’s Husab uranium mine in the Namib Naukluft National Park in Namibia. Attending was the Chairman of China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), He Yu. President Pohamba recognized Husab as a significant project creating a win-win partnership, making Namibia one of the biggest uranium producing countries in the world, and generating another catalyst to Namibia’s national strength. Swakop Uranium is owned by Taurus Minerals Limited of Hong Kong, which has a 90% stake in the company, and the Namibian state-owned company Epangelo (10%). Taurus is an entity owned by China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) Uranium Resources Co Ltd and the China-Africa Development Fund.
Windhoek JUN 09 2014: Rio Tinto Group will cut the workforce at its Rossing uranium site in Namibia by 23% as the world’s second-largest mining company responds to weaker demand for the metal used to fuel nuclear power plants. Production will fall to slightly less than 2,000 tonnes in 2014 from 2,409 tonnes in 2013, Rossing Uranium Ltd managing director Werner Duvenhage said on a conference call on Monday. It will cut 265 of the 1,168 positions at the mine. Rossing’s operations are suffering from lower grades and a slump in global demand for nuclear fuel following Japan’s Fukushima reactor disaster in 2011. Namibia is the largest uranium producer after Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. The cost-reduction measures will save as much as 1 billion Namibian dollars ($94 million), Duvenhage said. “We have to keep company operating to avoid care and maintenance or complete closure,” he said. Starting next month, Rossing will reduce its operating cycle to five days a week from seven. Rossing will maintain production levels that will enable the company to satisfy long-term sales contracts, Duvenhage said. “We are significantly downgrading production targets.” It’s not the first time Rossing has reduced its workforce. It fired 276 workers in 2012 in response to weaker uranium prices. In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, a disaster that led to Japan suspending its fleet of reactors.