PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Uranium miner Paladin Energy on Wednesday announced that it was close to sealing a deal to sell a minority interest in its Langer Heinrich project, in Namibia, as part of a strategic initiative to unlock value from the company’s asset base.
The Africa-focused miner, which is listed on the Toronto and Sydney bourses, said that it expected to finalise a transaction in the September quarter. The company was negotiating with two nuclear parties and initially planned to close a deal at the end of June, but had received a revised bid from one of the parties.
During November, Paladin announced that it would reduce operating costs by between $60-million and $80-million over the next two years, citing a weaker uranium spot price.
The cost review found that the Langer Heinrich operations, in Namibia, could deliver a cost saving of $10-million over 2013, with the Kayelekera mine, in Malawi, contributing a further $10-million cost saving through discretionary spending and improvements in mining cost.
In 2013, Paladin would also scale back its exploration spend by some 20%, or $4-million, by deferring nonessential drilling, while inventory management would save another $15-million in 2013. Paladin was also targeting a 10% reduction in corporate overheads.
The Langer Heinrich mine was currently operating above its nameplate capacity, and Paladin pointed out that additional cost savings were expected to continue in the mid-to-longer term. With an increase in the uranium price, the potential expansion of Langer Heinrich to 8.5-million pounds a year production would also make the project more attractive, added to Paladin’s assurance that a successful deal could be achieved, the company said.