JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has extended three exclusive prospecting licences (EPLs), held by uranium exploration company Reptile Uranium Namibia, for a further two years.
The company, which is a subsidiary of ASX-listed uranium exploration company Deep Yellow, was doing exploration work on four 100% held EPLs, three of which were due for renewal on June 5 after its first three-year grant period had expired.
Any application for a new EPL or for the renewal of an existing EPL with the MME has, since March, included three new conditions that had to be met.
Any funds raised in respect of an EPL now had to be deposited in Namibia, the EPL could not be issued unless the applicant could prove it had allocated shares in black economic-empowerment (BEE) transactions, and it had to have a plan in place to empower the nearby community once a mineable deposit is found.
Reptile had formulated its own BEE charter and entered into an agreement with local BEE company, Oponona. The BEE company would acquire a 5% stake in any and all projects within the three EPL boundaries, if the exploration company applied for a mining licence.
Further, as there were no immediate communities surrounding the three EPL areas, 40% of Oponona had been set aside to be placed in a BEE trust that would benefit previously disadvantaged Namibians and assist in educating the youth in the communities closest to Reptile’s exploration areas.
Reptile was also doing exploration work on three other properties where it was hoping to earn a 65% stake through a joint venture with Nova Energy Namibia, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Toro Energy.
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