PERTH (miningweekly.com) − Uranium hopeful Bannerman Resources said on Monday it would shift its focus to negotiations with other parties, after it backed away from a A$143-million offer from China’s Sichuan Hanlong Group.
The ASX- and TSX-listed uranium developer, however, said that it remained willing to consider a less conditional proposal from Hanlong, which made a A$0.612 a share bid on July 10.
Bannerman explained that the China Development Bank, which was the intended financier of the offer, required additional due diligence to gain greater certainty regarding the timing and conditions of a mining licence for the Etango project, in Namibia, before financing commitments could be made.
As a result, it was uncertain whether Hanlong would be in a position to enter into a binding agreement within a timeframe that would meet the expectations of Bannerman’s shareholders and stakeholders, the company said.
Bannerman previously rejected the offer but continued its negotiations with Hanlong, despite insider trading investigations by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission against the Chinese firm.
Hanlong is also bidding for another Australian junior, Sundance Resources, and recently won the backing of the board after it sweetened its bid to A$1.65-billion.
Bannerman started a feasibility study into Etango in the second quarter of this year, and aims to complete this by the end of March next year. As part of the study, the company was investigating increasing the plant’s throughput by 33%, which would result in a 20% production increase to between six-million and eight-million pounds yearly.
The company had previously published a figure of five-million to seven-million pounds a year.