06 Jun 2013 13:00
SWAKOPMUND, 06 JUN (NAMPA) ? The Managing Director of Rössing Uranium Limited, Chris Salisbury on Thursday said no further restructuring exercises are planned for the mine.
Speaking during the official launch of the company?s 2012 stakeholders? report here on Thursday, he also said there are no current plans to sell the mine.
Salisbury indicated that Rössing, which is part of the Rio Tinto Group, has been featuring in the Namibian economy for over 35 years.
He explained that during 2012, the mine made significant improvements across its range of business performance metrics.
These improvements include a 40 per cent reduction in injury rates over 2011; improvements in operational performance including in productivity and processing plant throughput, which increased, and combined with the improved uranium grade boosted uranium oxide production by 26 per cent.
Salisbury said during 2012 the operation produced 2 699 tonnes of uranium oxide, which accounts for about four per cent of the world?s production of primary produced uranium oxide.
He however said the Fukushima incident in 2011, in which a tsunami destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, has depleted uranium prices and lower sales volumes strained the company?s operational cash flow, resulting in an operational loss for 2012 (N.dollars 474 million, 2011 - N.dollars 464 million).
?Our turnover in 2012 was N.dollars 2,88 billion, down from N.dollars N.dollars 3,26 billion in 2011, reflecting the lower prices and decreased sales volume,? the MD said.
Salisbury explained that positioning Rössing to withstand short and medium-term economic challenges has become part of the company?s daily business.
He added that cost containment and increased efficiency will remain key focus areas, along with business improvement work on the various operational and business processes of the organisation.
?The major organisational restructuring announced in February this year is essentially completed and the reduction in employee-related costs will further reduce the cost base of the organisation,? Salisbury said.
He mentioned that this was a difficult process, before quashing rumours that a second phase of restructuring would take place.
?There will be no further restructuring at the mine, as well as no current plans to sell the mine,? the MD firmly stated.
Salisbury announced on 01 March this year that 276 employees would be retrenched by April, saying it was necessitated by the lower uranium prices and demand.
The Rössing Uranium MD on Thursday indicated that the company now has an employee complement of around 1 235 employees, of which 99 per cent are Namibians.