The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: 2012 a Better Mining Year for Rössing Uranium

RÖSSING Uranium last year produced just over four million pounds of uranium oxide, about 26% more than in 2011.

Figures released yesterday by global miner Rio Tinto, which has a 69% stake in Rössing, show that the mine produced 4,08 million pounds of uranium oxide in 2012 - 833 000 pounds more than the previous year.

The mine - the longest running open pit uranium mine in the world - produced 1,01 million pounds of uranium oxide in the last three months of 2012, an increase of 49% compared the fourth quarter of 2011.

"This resulted from improved milling activity, higher grades from the mine sequence and improved recoveries," Rio Tinto said in its latest quarterly report.

The third quarter of 2012 proved to be Rössing's most successful quarter of the year, with 1,13 million pounds of uranium oxide produced.

According to the World Nuclear Association's 2011 rankings, Rössing was the eighth largest uranium producing mine in the world, while Namibia was the fifth biggest uranium producer globally. Rössing last year said it was fighting its way back to profitability after suffering a net loss of N$471,3 million for 2011, ballooning from its net loss of N$43 million in 2010. The mine intends to return to profitability to 2014, Rössing said at the time.

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