The photo taken on July 25, 2019 shows the Rossing Uranium handover ceremony near the town of Swakopmund, Namibia. The Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto officially handed over Namibian uranium mine Rossing to its new majority shareholder, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) at an event Thursday in Rossing Mine near the coastal town of Swakopmund. (Xinhua/Wu Changwei)
The Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto officially handed over Namibian uranium miner, Rossing, to its new majority shareholder, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) at an event Thursday in Rossing Mine near the coastal town of Swakopmund.
In an emotional address to the Rossing workers and delegates, Bold Baatar, former majority shareholder Rio Tinto Energy and Minerals CEO, said during their time they had an opportunity to create a world class business that contributed to the growth and development of Namibia and its people.
“While this was not an easy choice to make to sell, it was one that ensured a strong future for the business,” he added.
According to him, with the new partners CNNC, Rossing will chart a new pathway, sustaining the business for years to come.
Baatar said even as the Rio Tinto flag comes down over Rossing, his company will very much remain committed to Namibia.
“This cooperation will keep continuous tax contributions from Rossing to the nation and provide employment security, will provide more stable employment security for about 1,000 employees and 1,000 contractors of Rossing, will support Rossing foundation to continue to fulfill its social responsibilities, will provide the predictable business opportunities for local suppliers and will also promote in-depth cooperation between Namibia and China in trade, investment and industrial development,” said He Zixing, vice president of CNNC.
Speaking on the same occasion, Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua welcomed the new investment and stated that the region will now focus on building a new chapter in the history of Rossing Uranium.
“We know that this new chapter would allow the businesses to prosper to the benefit of not only our stakeholders, but also the economy at large,” he added.
Meanwhile other delegates present at the event echoed similar sentiments and stated that the move to sell the majority shares to China will ensure the continuation of a 43-year-old legacy and retain jobs for the around 2,000 employees.
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, said that the event signalled the dawn of a new future for all.
“With the necessary cooperation with government and stakeholders, a lot can be done for future generations,” she added.
Rio Tinto which had the majority shareholding in Rossing Uranium of 68.62 percent last week announced that the sale of its shares to CNNC was complete following approval by the Namibia Competition Commission.