|Rössing Uranium in 2006 Message - MD Uranium Market Sustainable Development|
|Rössing the business Rössing in the community2006 Performance|
Message from Mike Leech, Managing Director
In 2006, Rössing Uranium celebrated its 30th year of production. I would like to thank the many employees and their families and all other stakeholders who have enabled the company to achieve 30 years of “Working for Namibia”.
An even more important milestone last year was that we achieved the lowest-ever “All Injury Frequency Rate” since operations began. The rate of 0.59 achieved is just on the edge of what is considered to be world class for any industry. We will continue to work to improve and become truly a world-class player.
With a growing nuclear power industry recognised worldwide as a clean, efficient, carbon-free source of power that will assist in combating global warming, and with an increase in the demand for uranium resulting in notable long-term market price increases, Rössing is favourably positioned to capture opportunities to increase its market share, and to achieve production growth and expansion options for the mine.
In December 2005, the mine’s operating life was extended to 2016. We have recently identified potential for further extension to 2021 and in addition have exploration drilling programmes in two areas inside the mining grant, but outside the existing pit, namely the deposits known as SH and SK.
Work on opening up the eastern side of the existing pit for the new pushback that was approved under the Life-of-Mine Extension Project is progressing well, and the first ore feed from the area is expected in the second quarter of 2007.
In 2006, the mine produced 3,617 tonnes of uranium oxide. The plan is to increase production over the next few years to full capacity of 4,500 tonnes; the 2007 target is 4,000 tonnes.
Further production increases are being targeted through technical innovations such as ore sorting, which is nearing the end of its pilot operation.
A key current activity is recruitment of additional full-time employees and further training and development of current and new employees to support the production increases and also to build succession and depth in our teams.
During 2006, significant amounts were invested in local communities through donation and sponsorship programmes to support capacity-building and refurbishment of infrastructure in the neighbouring town of Arandis.
The Rössing Foundation continued to strengthen its supportive role for stakeholders in Arandis and the wider Erongo Region, focusing primarily on educational assistance programmes for local government, schools, businesses and residents.
I trust that this report will give you insight into our operations and activities during 2006. I would be most interested to receive any comments or questions you may have about Rössing mine.
It was with great sadness that the Board of Directors of Rössing Uranium and all its employees mourned the death of our friend and colleague, John Simpson Kirkpatrick, on 5 April 2007. John served as a Director on the Rössing Board for 30 years, five of which were in the position of Chairman. For those three decades he guided the company through both successful and difficult times.