Uranium was first discovered in the Namib Desert in 1928, but it was only following intensive exploration in the late 1950s that the mining industry’s interest was piqued. Rio Tinto originally secured the rights to the low-grade Rössing deposit in 1966.
A decade later in 1976, Rössing Uranium, Namibia’s first commercial uranium mine, started production. Today, Namibia has two significant uranium mines (Rössing Uranium and Swakop Uranium) which together provide 11% of the world’s uranium oxide output in 2019; in 2019 Rössing Uranium produced 3.9% of that total.
The mine has a capacity of 4,500 tonnes of uranium oxide per year and, by the end of 2019, had supplied a total of 137,537 tonnes of uranium oxide to the world.
The mine is located 12km from the town of Arandis, which lies 70 km inland from the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia’s Erongo Region. Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only deep-water harbour, is located 30km south of Swakopmund.
The mine site encompasses a mining licence and accessory works areas of about 129.79 km2, of which 25 km2 is used for mining, waste disposal and processing. Mining is done by blasting, loading and hauling from the open pit before the uranium-bearing rock is processed to produce uranium oxide.
For the rest of this article: https://www.miningglobal.com/supply-chain-and-operations/rossing-uranium-helping-power-namibias-future