PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX- and TSX-listed uranium-miner Paladin Energy lifted its production by 60% in the 2010 financial year, and is targeting a similar increase in next financial year, it reported on Monday.
Paladin, which owns two operating mines in Africa and projects in Australia, produced 4,32-million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) in the year ended June 30, which was a 60% increase on the 2009 production.
The company is targeting production of seven-million pounds in the 2011 financial year, which would see its Langer Heinrich mine, in Namibia, and its Kayelekera operation, in Malawi, reach nameplate capacity.
Langer Heinrich is expected to produce 3,7-million pounds, while Kayelekera would produce 3,3-million pounds.
In the June 2010 quarter, Paladin more than doubled its output to 1,44-million pounds of U3O8.
The Langer Heinrich operations produced 927 373 lb of U3O8during the three months, with the Kayelekera mine touching nameplate capacity by producing 515 000 lb of U3O8 during the quarter.
The Kayelekera operation reached commercial production on July 1, after meeting production targets.
Paladin said in a statement that the overall production for the June quarter was 25% higher than the figures achieved during the preceding quarter, with 1,15-million pounds of U3O8 recorded at the end of March.
The Langer Heinrich stage-three expansion was currently under construction, and was scheduled for mechanical completion by the end of the calendar year, expanding production to 5,2-million pounds a year.
About six months of ramp-up production could then be expected as stage three was tied in.
During the period under review, Paladin concluded a new medium-term contract with a major Asian utility for the delivery of about 1,5-million pounds of U3O8, between 2011 and 2015.
Sales for the quarter were 855 000 lb, generating a revenue of $49,11-million. Sales for the financial year reached $202-million, with Paladin selling off more than 3,7-million pounds of U3O8.
The miner said that the uranium spot price moved in a very narrow range around $41,75/lb from the beginning of April this year, and ended the quarter at the same level.
The long-term price indicator also remained stable during the quarter at $58/lb.