Acquisition of Rössing mine by CNNC won't cause monopoly: Zhang

Acquisition of Rössing mine by CNNC won't cause monopoly: Zhang

China’s Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming on Thursday dismissed concerns that the acquisition of Rössing Uranium Mine by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) may cause a monopoly by Chinese companies.
Zhang, who was speaking during the official handover of the Rössing Uranium Mine to CNNC, made particular reference to China General Nuclear Power Group’s (CGNPC) ownership of Swakop Uranium, saying the two are independent, competing business entities.
“China and Namibia are committed to creating a good business environment for economic and trade cooperation. Additionally, China is willing to work with Namibia to firmly uphold the multilateral trading system, categorically oppose protectionism and realise a more open, inclusive and balanced economic globalisation while sparing no efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind,” Zhang said.
He further explained that the Chinese government also encourages eminent Chinese enterprises to invest in Namibia in accordance with the principle of marketing or actively cooperate with relevant countries in third-party markets under the Belt and Road Initiative and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework.
Mines and Energy Deputy Minister Kornelia Shilunga at the same event said the Namibian Government has been supportive of the shares sale transaction and understands the benefits which the ownership of Rössing by CNNC could provide to Namibia.
“Many African economies have fairly well-developed mining sectors and here at home, mining is an important sector of the economy, contributing 14% to our Gross Domestic Product in 2018,” she said.
According to the deputy minister, during 2018, the sector employed 16 221 people directly and 6 681 as contractors, with Rössing Uranium Mine alone employing close to 2 000 employees and contractors.
CNNC Vice President He Zixing said the significance of this cooperation is that the strong nuclear power market of China will provide opportunities and guarantees for Rössing for long-term, stable and sustainable development.
“This cooperation will keep continuous tax contributions from Rössing to the nation and provide employment security for about 1 000 employees and 1 000 contractors at the mine, among others,” he added.
Rössing Uranium Mine was operated by Rio Tinto for 43 years. Rio Tinto sold its entire 69% interest to China National Uranium Corporation, which is a subsidiary of CNNC.