Windhoek As the Islamic Republic of Iran strives to re-establish business ties with the western world following the recent lifting of economic sanctions, Rössing Uranium - in which Iran holds a 15 percent stake - says it is moving carefully to ensure its relationship with the Iranian government complies with Namibian and international legislation. “Rössing Uranium Limited is currently reviewing the impact of the lifting of the sanctions with its legal advisors and is committed to ensuring that it continues to comply with all relevant Namibian, or international legislation on the matter,” said Leah Von Hagen, general manager of organisational resources at Rössing Uranium Limited. Von Hagen added that the Iranian Foreign Investment Company (IFIC), which has held the 15 percent stake in Rössing Uranium since the mine was established in the mid-1970s, does not have any uranium product off-take rights and the lifting of sanctions does not change that situation. The IFIC’s shareholding dates back to when the mine was financed 40 years ago through a range of finance assistance groups. The IFIC’s shareholding was initially held by the Iranan government after which it was transferred to the IFIC in 1997. Other shareholders in Rössing Uranium include its parent company, Rio Tinto, which holds 68.8, as well as the Namibian and South African governments. “The IFIC is a legacy They have no involvement, no seat at the board, and no sales agreements. In terms of the UN resolutions, steps were taken to ensure that the IFIC was solely a passive investor and did not receive uranium from Rössing Uranium Limited, had no access to associated technology, and did not have access to its dividend payments. “This arrangement complied with, and even went beyond, the requirements of applicable UN Security Council resolutions,” Von Hagen explained. According to its website, the IFIC was officially established for investment and mutual cooperation with individuals and companies in manufacturing, industrial, mining, trade, financial and services abroad. The Iranian parliament passed a law to establish the IFIC in 1992. The official activity of IFIC commenced with the ratification of its executive statute in 1997. Based on this statute, all Iran’s foreign investments - both before and after the revolution - came under IFIC management. The bottoming out of the uranium price caused Rössing to scale back production following the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011. Rössing Uranium produced 1 543 tonnes of uranium oxide in 2014, which is a reduction from 2 409 tonnes produced in 2013. The restructuring also impacted the processing plant, through a reduced workforce and alteration of working shifts. In June 2014 the mine also underwent a four-week shut down, during which major maintenance in the processing plant was successfully executed.
New Era Reporter
2016-01-26 10:04:56 3 years ago