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Rio Tinto cuts workers at Namibian uranium mine

Rossing Uranium Mine © 2009 Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto’s uranium Namibian unit will cut 276 jobs following losses on reduced demand for the metal since the 2011 Japanese tsunami, reports Bloomberg’s Business Week.

Rossing Uranium said the ongoing low demand has depressed prices more than 36%. Despite output rising 26% to 2,699 tonnes, it hasn’t resulted in positive cash flow. The open-pit mine lost about $105 million in the past two years.

Japan used nuclear power for about one-third of its energy prior to the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami which shut down the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant.

Rio Tinto recently took its first annual loss after a $14 billion writedown on its aluminum and coal assets.