Modern Mining - page 12

February 2014
Australia’s Paladin Energy signed an
agreement on 18 January 2014 to sell a
25 % joint-venture equity stake in its flag-
ship Langer Heinrich uranium mining
operation in Namibia to China Uranium
Corporation Limited, a wholly owned
subsidiary of China National Nuclear
Corporation (CNNC), the leading Chinese
nuclear utility, for a consideration of
US$190 million.
The offtake component of the agree-
ment will allow CNNC to purchase its
pro-rata share of product at the prevailing
market spot price. There is also an oppor-
tunity for Paladin to benefit by securing
additional long term offtake arrangements
with CNNC, at arm’s length market rates,
from Paladin’s share of Langer Heinrich
Langer Heinrich commenced uranium
production in 2007 and has subsequently
undergone two stages of expansion. It was
the first successful conventional uranium
mining operation to have been built in the
world since 1992 when Areva established
its McLean operation in Canada. The plant
utilises a unique alkaline leaching process
developed by Paladin.
The Langer Heinrich uraniummine, which is located 80 km east of Walvis Bay in Namibia (photo: Paladin Energy).
Paladin sells stake in Langer Heinrich to CNNC
Langer Heinrich has a current design
capacity of 5,2 Mlb of uranium concen-
trate per annum and, following successful
optimisation and debottlenecking, Paladin
is targeting 5,7 Mlb of production in FY14.
This de-risked operation has a current
20-year mine life and, given sufficient ura-
nium price incentive, is capable of being
expanded further to produce approxi-
mately 8,5 Mlb per annum.
“Paladin has conducted an exhaustive
and wide-ranging process, which we are
delighted to have concluded with the
introduction of one of the world’s lead-
ing nuclear industry participants into our
world-class Langer Heinrich project,” says
John Borshoff, Managing Director/CEO of
“The significant cash injection from
this minority interest sale will largely be
applied to debt reduction, which the board
considers an essential step during a time
of unprecedented low uranium prices. This
will help stabilise the company, establish-
ing an incredibly strong platform that will
enable us to maximise the value of our
assets and ensure increased production
of much needed uranium once the price
is sufficient to support the planned future
growth of nuclear energy in China and
Briquetting plant ready for full production
AIM-quoted Armadale says it is pleased
to note the recent announcement by
Mine Restoration Investments Limited
(MRI) in which it holds an interest of
approximately 40 %, detailing progress
on MRI’s briquetting plant.
MRI is listed on the Alt-X Exchange of
the JSE and aims to develop profitable
operations within the South African min-
ing industry through its coal briquetting
operation in KZN and acid mine drainage
technology in the Witwatersrand basin.
MRI’s coal briquetting plant at the
Vaalkrantz mine in KZN, which commenced
operations from run of mine coal in October
2013, has now been equipped with a re-
suspension unit allowing it to operate from
the fines stockpile of the plant. With this ini-
tial ramp up now complete, the project can
begin full commercial production.
MRI has also reported it is in advanced
discussions with potential customers and
offtake partners, including Keaton Energy,
the owner of the Vaalkrantz mine, with a
view to securing long term offtake agree-
ments. It is currently market testing the
final coal briquette product and expects to
finalise arrangements shortly.
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