14/01/2008 - 15:20

Paladin mine production on track

14/01/2008 - 15:20

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Perth-based uranium producer Paladin Energy Ltd says its Langer Heinrich mine in the African nation of Namibia has achieved its production target for the December quarter of 390,807 pounds of uranium oxide.

Paladin mine production on track

Perth-based uranium producer Paladin Energy Ltd says its Langer Heinrich mine in the African nation of Namibia has achieved its production target for the December quarter of 390,807 pounds of uranium oxide.

The company sought to produce 650,000 pounds for the six months to December 31, and said it comfortably met the target with 650,562 pounds produced during the half.

Officially opened in March 2007, the Langer Heinrich operation is back on track after a number of production problems in 2007 and is projected to produce 2.6 million pounds of uranium oxide for the 2008 calendar year.

Paladin originally wanted to ramp up to 2.6 million pounds per annum by July 1 2007, but problems with heat exchangers took five months to rectify, heavily constraining its ability to optimise plant throughput.

Paladin's problems involved leaching and drying circuits as well as shipping delays and major ramp up work could only begin when all heat exchangers were on line.

"The production uplift achieved in December essentially resulted from the culmination of general metallurgy modification of the plant," Paladin said in a statement.

"During the March quarter, work at Langer Heinrich will focus on further improving plant operating efficiencies."

Work on the engineering design and specification for Stage 2 expansion is underway to expand production at Langer Heinrich to 3.7 million pounds per annum.

Construction is expected to commence early this year, with mechanical completion scheduled for calendar year-end.

Designed to produce 3.3 million pounds per annum, the Kayelekera mine in Malawi is also on schedule for completion of construction at the end of 2008, with an annual production target of 7 million pounds forecast for 2010.

Last year, Paladin shareholders experienced a rocky ride as share prices rose to $10.80 in April, fell to $5.48 in August and rose back up to $9.13 in November.

Shares in Paladin were about $6 today..

 

 


 


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