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Nearly 300 jobs at Rossing uranium mine at risk under Rio Tinto's cost-saving plans

's plan to consolidate themanagement of on-site subcontractors to reduce costs at its Rossing uranium mine in Namibia may lead to about300 workers losing their jobs, New Era reported April 5.

The workersthat are likely to lose their jobs include fine crushers, conveyer maintenance workersand primary crushers, among others.

AbiudKapere, chairperson of the Rossing branch of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia, saidthe company is promoting South African firms over local management as part of itsinitiative to outsource management of onsite contractors.

"Theconniving to outsource essential services to foreign-based companies is affectingjob security and only benefits those that have close links to the arrangements madeto benefit the elite South African companies," Kapere said.

Someworkers have already been asked to leave the site as their positions have been takenover by South Africans, the report noted.

In addition,Rio Tinto is also undermining the government's initiative to improve living conditionsof Namibians by empowering them.

"Westrongly condemn Rossing's systematic plundering of revenues generated from Namibianminerals through the empowerment of foreign-based companies," Kapere added.

Accordingto him, Namibian firms would be replaced by FL Smith, C&E Engineering and IAP.