31/10/2006 - 21:00

Junior uranium miners look to Europe

31/10/2006 - 21:00

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In an effort to make hay while the sun shines, Western Australian-based uranium miners are cashing in on the current uranium price of around $69/pound by focusing on projects in European countries which support uranium mining.

Junior uranium miners look to Europe

In an effort to make hay while the sun shines, Western Australian-based uranium miners are cashing in on the current uranium price of around $69/pound by focusing on projects in European countries which support uranium mining.

Last week, West Perth uranium start-up Wildhorse Energy Ltd, which is listing on ASX on November 13, raised $10 million in its initial public offer to the fund the development of its portfolio of uranium assets in countries including Hungary and the US.

Wildhorse managing director Richard Pearce said the company had specifically acquired projects in Hungary and the US since they had a history of uranium mining and production, and positive government and community support.

“We plan to exploit the increasing demand for cheap, efficient and emission free nuclear energy in these regions,” he said.

Wildhorse is looking to complete a detailed program to evaluate its projects located in southern Hungary and, where possible, will determine JORC compliant uranium resources.

Mr Pearce said Hungary had four nuclear reactors that generated more than 30 per cent of the country’s electricity.

“Despite a long history of uranium production, Hungary currently lacks its own production to meet its nuclear power generation needs,” he said.

“In Europe there is a general expansion in nuclear generating capacity, with 200 plants either operational or planned. This capacity further increases demand for nearby uranium supplies.”

Another uranium company making the most of its opportunities in Europe is Uran Ltd.

Formerly known as Great Western Exploration Ltd and now chaired by former ConsMin CEO Michael Kiernan, the company has shifted its gaze towards the acquisition of advanced uranium projects in countries of the former USSR, in a bid to cash in on the current high uranium price. 

Last week, the company said it anticipated completing a joint venture agreement with a Ukrainian State Enterprise over two in-situ leachable uranium deposits located in eastern Ukraine by the end of the year, with drilling to commence in July 2007.

The projects are located in a vicinity where a number of other current uranium mining operations are taking place.

West Perth-based Metex Resources has also jumped on the bandwagon after recently applying for tenure over an advanced uranium project in northern Italy.

The Novazza Uranium Project, located 85 kilometres north-east of Milan, has an in-situ value of almost $200 million if valued at a price of $69/lb.

Metex managing director Ian Walker said the location of the existing uranium resource, close to one of Europe’s major industrialised regions, was fundamental to the project’s future potential.

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