Namibia Sets the Conditions for Chinese Investment

Mines and energy minister says government has no objection to Rio Tinto’s sale of its uranium mine stake to China provided it respects the African nation’s laws. Rio, which is seeking to divest less profitable assets, said last November that it was selling its 69% stake in the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine to China for up to $106.5 million and expected the deal to be completed in the first half of 2019. China already owns stakes in Namibian uranium production, which, along with diamonds, is the mainstay of the Namibian economy. Addressing concerns among Namibians that China will bring in foreign nationals to replace local employees, China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) Vice President Li Youliang told a public hearing last week that was not the case. Rio Tinto is selling its stake in Rossing Uranium mine to CNUC in a deal dependent on approval from the Namibian competition commission. The Namibian government holds a 3% stake in Rossing and 51% of voting rights. The Iranian Foreign Investment Company also holds a legacy 15% stake that goes back to the original funding of the mine, which could have deterred some potential buyers.SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

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