State One Equities to assist Paladin’s development push

PALADIN Resources is gearing up to take advantage of steady price gains and growing demand in world uranium markets, as well as renewed market interest in promising copper/gold deposits in WA’s north-west.

Development opportunities have prompted the company to appoint local firm State One Equities to assist with fund-raising, corporate development and marketing services, and a new board appointment to oversee the development of priority projects is expected by the end of the month.

The company is banking on corporate links and investor interest in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa to fund a feasibility study towards advancing its Malawi uranium deposit, but is also hoping to commence environmental work for its WA Manyingee uranium deposit, 85 kilometres from Onslow, with a view to possible local production within three years.

The copper/gold-rich territory in which Paladin’s North-west Manyingee and Turee Creek holdings are located has attracted strong interest from companies and investors.

Recent good drilling results by other local companies have raised Paladin’s hopes of attracting joint venture interest to allow more detailed exploration of its own territory, for which it owns a significant exploration and sampling database, purchased from original explorer German company Uranerz.

Despite a WA Greens nuclear prohibition bill to ban exploration and mining for uranium in WA, and currently under consideration by the Government, Paladin Resources managing director John Borshoff believes pragmatism will prevail and the company will not be prevented from developing its WA uranium deposits.

However Greens MLC Robin Chapple said if the Government did not progress the bill further this year, the Labor Party’s stance on uranium mining would be seriously brought into question.

The Government was lobbied heavily by the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy and Industry players during 2001 and Mr Chapple said the Greens would talk with the Government next month to determine an agreeable amendment to the bill to allow it to progress.

The aim of the amendment would be to remove the exploration exclusion, but not the prohibition on mining.

WA CME director Greg Johannes said the CME believed the prohibition bill, as it stood, was unnecessary, impractical and damaging.

Mr Johannes said the CME also considered the bill to be short-sighted, in that it was based on the supposition that community attitudes would not change, notwithstanding the world’s current green-house challenges.

Nuclear power generation is promoted as an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and with soaring power needs, densely populated northern hemisphere nations are looking at significantly upgrading and increasing nuclear power generation facilities. Approximately 30 new facilities are planned or under construction in 11 countries.

Australia has 24 per cent of the world’s known uranium deposits, and in the past five years, the nation’s annual uranium exports to Asia, the Americas and the UK have increased five-fold from 2,000 to 10,000 tonnes.

Australia has three uranium mines in operation, Ranger in the Northern Territory and Olympic Dam and Beverley in South Australia.

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