Following the completion of the bankable feasibility study, the Rössing Board of Directors approved the Life of Mine Extension (LoME) with ten years from 2026 to 2036 and the recommended operating model. This was announced by Rössing Uranium Managing Director, Johan Coetzee on 24 February 2023.
According to Coetzee, this provides Rössing with a new lease on life and translates into the continuation of various macroeconomic benefits for its stakeholders. He said two years ago, Rössing embarked on a Feasibility Study for the Life of Mine extension to 2036 through the Phase 4 pushback of the existing SJ Pit, fully utilising the 15-year mining license granted by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2021.
He said despite a formal Life of Mine of 2025, the previous majority shareholder, Rio Tinto, was considering early closure in January 2020.The 2019 sale of Rio Tinto’s majority shareholding to China National Uranium Corporation created a limited duration preferential offtake agreement at subsidised prices and a premium to production cost, assuring a positive cash flow and continued operation, Coetzee added.
He further noted that the objective of the LoME Feasibility Study was to evaluate and document the technical, practical, and economic feasibility to extend the Rössing Uranium Life of Mine beyond 2026 and issue a Feasibility Study Report to inform an investment decision by the Rössing Board of Directors.
He also emphasised that Rössing endeavors to continue its contributions to the economy at national and regional levels in the best interest of the mining industry, their region, and the country at large. “We appreciate all the support received from our Board, employees, and other stakeholders during the journey of extending our Life of Mine to 2036,” noted Coetzee.
Rössing Uranium, Namibia’s first commercial uranium mine started production in 1976 and will be celebrating its 47th year of production this year. CNUC is a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the main force in China’s nuclear market with significant involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle supply chain in that country. Rössing Uranium’s new owner is the only authorised, national uranium production and operations company in China, engaged in uranium exploration, mining, and processing.