Rössing uranium
Image credit: Rio Tinto (Rössing mine)

Diversified mining major Rio Tinto has completed the sale of its entire interest in the Rössing uranium mine in Namibia to China National Uranium Corporation, or CNUC.

Rio Tinto has sold its entire 68.62% stake in the Rössing uranium mine for an initial cash payment of $6.5 million plus a contingent payment of up to $100 million.

The $100 million contingent payment is linked to uranium spot prices and Rössing's net income during the next seven calendar years. In addition, Rio Tinto will receive a cash payment if CNUC sells the Zelda 20 Mineral Deposit during a restricted period following completion.

 “This sale demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to further simplifying and strengthening our portfolio and brings the total divestment proceeds received since 2017 to $11.2 billion, of which $9.7 billion has been returned to our shareholders,’ says Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques.

“I would like to recognise the hard work of people across Rio Tinto and the communities around Rössing who have contributed to the success of the mine and wish them all the best for the future under new ownership.”

Rössing has the world's longest-running open pit uranium mine. Operating since 1976, the Rössing business has produced the most uranium of any single mine. Rössing produces and exports uranium oxide from Namibia to nuclear power utilities around the world.

In 2017, the Rössing mine produced 4.6 million pounds. Rio Tinto's share of mined uranium was 3.19 million pounds.