HomeEnergy MineralsRossing may boost uranium production

Rossing may boost uranium production

The Rossing uranium
mine in Namibia
Swakopmund, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 November 2009 – The Rossing mine in Namibia, which is majority owned by  Rio Tinto “’ the leading international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom “’ plans to maintain annual uranium output of 4 000 tonnes until 2023, but the company is busy exploring nearby deposits as demand grows to meet needs for greener energy.

Revealing this in a statement here, Rossing general manager for corporate services Zebra Kasete, said the company might boost production by an additional 500 tonnes if it went ahead with a plan to build a heap leaching facility at the site. A pre-feasibility study for this project was to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

“We are still on track to make the 4 000-tonnes-plus for this year, and those are the numbers we are looking at, going forward. If the heap leach goes ahead, that will mean an additional 500 tpa,” he told Reuters.

Rossing had initially expected the project to start producing in early 2011.

The open pit mine in the Namib desert will be doing a lot of stripping work to remove waste product and explore further.

“We continue to do exploration in the area around the existing pit and also in the satellite deposits,” Kasete said. “There is no reason to believe that we’ve exhausted our current area,” he added.

Rossing “’ which produces 8% of the world’s uranium “’ has been Namibia’s only uranium operation for decades. Several firms have moved into the southern African country in recent years, and several new mines are expected to come on stream within the next five years.

Rio Tinto owns a stake of 68.6% in Rossing, one of two uranium mines within the group.