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Namibia agrees to sell uranium stake in Rio to China

Mining industry / Africa

Namibia has no objection to Rio Tinto selling its stake in the uranium mine to China, subject to the country's laws.

Namibia agrees to sell uranium stake in Rio to China

Namibia's Minister of Mines and Energy said he had no objection to Rio Tinto selling its stake in the uranium mine to China, subject to the African country's laws.

Rio, divesting unprofitable assets, said last November that it was selling its 69 percent stake in the world's longest open-ended uranium mine for $ 106.5 million. The completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019.

China already owns a number of assets in the Namibian uranium mining sector, which, along with diamond mining, forms the backbone of the Namibian economy.

In response to Namibian concerns, China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) Vice President Li Yuliang said at a public meeting held last week in the coastal city of Swakopmund that China has no intention of replacing local Namibian employees with foreign nationals.

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Rio Tinto is selling its stake in the Uranium uranium mine to CNUC in a deal subject to approval by the Namibian Tender Committee.

The Government of Namibia owns a 3% stake in Rossing and a majority stake. In addition, an Iranian Foreign Investment Company owns a 15 percent stake, which could scare off potential investors. Other stakeholders are: South Africa Development Corporation (10 percent) and individual shareholders (3 percent).

The Sale Agreement includes an initial cash payment of $ 6.5 million payable upon completion and a contingent payment of up to $ 100 million upon completion.

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