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Technical and Human Considerations in the Development of the Rossing Uranium Mine


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Author Freeman GM and Vernon PN


The Eossing Uranium Mine is a high tonnage low grade open pit operation using acid leaching for uranium extraction and ion exchange and solvent extraction for solution purification. Advanced technology, much of it computer based, has led to major economies that have contained operating unit costs over the last four years in the face of double figure inflation. An improved ore reserve block model and mine planning system have achieved a considerable reduction in the stripping ratio. Drilling and blasting costs have decreased some 25%, mainly by the introduction of heavy ANFO explosive. A centralised computer control centre for the metallurgical plant has increased labour productivity resulting in improved process control. The all-staff workforce is united with management in the objectives of creating a safe, healthy, working and living environment and a prosperous company, capable of contributing to the wellbeing of the nation and the shareholders. This situation has been brought into being by an equal opportunity policy coupled with a management system emphasising open two-way communication through all levels in the organisation. The success of this policy is highly apparent in the morale and productivity of the workforce.