Monday, May 24, 2010


Published on Monday May 24 2010
Here's a History lesson on the Hansen Uranium Project from 1978 - 1983

Underground uranium mining in Nucla, Montrose County, Colorado

Cyprus, Westinghouse planned mine

The Hansen property has a long history with Cyprus Mines Corp, where it was known as Cyprus Hansen.

In 1978, Cyprus sold a 49 percent interest in the property to Wyoming Mineral Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Corp.

Westinghouse, which at the time was a major supplier of nuclear reactors, was hungry for uranium. Westinghouse was then faced with 14 lawsuits filed by 20 utilities after it cancelled uranium fuel supply contracts in September 1975.

The suits sought delivery of 69 million to 85 million pounds of uranium at contract prices over the following two decades.

Westinghouse was suing, too. It had antitrust suits going against 29 foreign and domestic uranium producers and their agents, alleging price fixing and allocation of uranium markets.

Back in 1978, Cyprus estimated reserves at the site were about 30 million pounds.

Hansen was named for James G. Hansen, Cyprus' former senior vice president for mineral exploration.

Open-pit mine planned

Cyprus was to be operator for all exploration, development and production at Hansen. Funding for licensing, development and construction of the open-pit mine and 3,000 tpd mill was to be provided by the two firms on a pro rata basis.

When Westinghouse bought in in 1978, the firms were looking at production by 1983.

But by 1980, the price of uranium had began to flag. In the early '70s, uranium sold for around $6 per pound, a price that rose as high as $43 by mid-1979. A year later, however, it had dropped to $30, a five-year low, on its way down.

The reason was oversupply. In 1979, producers turned out 37 million pounds of uranium oxide, while utilities consumed only24.8 million pounds.

Rich Canadian competition

At the same time, rich new deposits were being discovered in Canada and Australia with up to 30 times the grade as domestic ore, which averaged only 2.2 pounds per ton in 1979, down from 4.2 pounds in 1969.

By that time, Amoco (Standard Oil Co. of Indiana) had acquired Cyprus and the new company soon decided to abandon the Hansen project, which had a price tag of $225 million.

The decision also came soon after the Three Mile Island reactor incident, which further eroded uranium's image and demand.

Amoco and Westinghouse planned to wait until the market for uranium became more stable -- a situation that wasn't to occur.

Interesting times are ahead for Black Range Minerals.

Current Status

Remaining 51% interest in the Hansen Uranium Project still pending

Friday, May 14, 2010


Bannerman Resources Limited (ASX:BMN) (TSE:BAN)
Is an emerging uranium development
Company with interests in Namibia and Botswana.

The principal and most significant asset is an 80 per cent interest in the Etango Project, located on the western coast of Namibia, one of Africa's premier mining jurisdictions and one of the world's largest undeveloped uranium deposits. Focus for this project is on the feasibility assessment and development of a 5-7 million pounds per annum U3O8 open pit mining operation.

Bannerman Resources is moving the Etango Project forward with the intention of bringing it into production as early as possible, with a target to commission the project in 2013. By advancing the development of one of the world's largest uranium deposits in Namibia, their vision is to become a highly profitable top-tier global uranium producer with a portfolio of long life assets.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Managing director of Australian and Toronto-listed uranium producer, White Canyon Uranium (ASX: WCU, TSX‐V: WU), Peter Batten acquired 219,714 ordinary shares in the company in on-market trades at $0.117 cents on 7 May 2010.


White Canyon Uranium is the newest uranium production company listed on the ASX and TSX-V, with production of development material at Daneros having commenced at the end of 2009 following the mine permit being granted in May 2009. Daneros is the first new uranium mine permitted in Utah in 30 years. The company has U3O8 upside of 10 million pounds within 3 years, and is well placed to establish a 10 year mine production schedule.

My Other Uranium News Site

Friday, May 7, 2010


THE disclosure that Uranium One -- a Canadian-based uranium producer in which the Russian government holds a significant stake -- has taken a shareholding in Paladin Energy should provoke interest in Canberra.

That's because, under Australia's foreign investment guidelines, Uranium One should have sought approval before acquiring any shares in Paladin. It's thought that it did not do so.

The holding to date is small -- 9.84 million shares, or 1.37 per cent of Paladin's capital.

Uranium One has confirmed the holding and says the shares were purchased for "investment purposes", that the company continually reviews its investment alternatives and may, from time to time, acquire additional shares or dispose of its holding.

Maybe.But if the intention was to acquire a strategic shareholding in Paladin, then presumably Uranium One won't make any further purchases without first notifying FIRB and seeking the approval of federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Uranium One's buying was only flushed out as a result of regular monthly monitoring by Paladin of purchases of its shares.

The buying was conducted through a Credit Suisse nominee company in the US. Paladin sent out tracing notices on April 15, which revealed that the beneficial owner was Cheetah Resources, a Luxembourg-domiciled entity, which at that stage held 4.345 million shares. A further tracing notice on April 28 revealed that Cheetah's holding at that stage had risen to 9.84 million shares.

It's suggested that Paladin suspects Uranium One might hold further shares through another entity and that additional tracing notices have been sent in an endeavour to ascertain whether that is the case.

If Uranium One was hoping to build a bigger stake in Paladin, its cover has now been blown. Not only will FIRB have been alerted but investors also know of its buying and the Canadian group would find it more difficult to dislodge sellers.

Paladin's share price jumped from $3.68 to $4 on the disclosure of Uranium One's stake, but has since drifted back to $3.65, in line with the overall market decline.

The uranium industry is closely held, but there has been speculation there might be further consolidation, with Canada's Cameco mentioned as a possible bidder for Paladin.

Paladin has positioned itself uniquely within the uranium supply industry and is currently the only independent uranium producer with developed, proven reserves and significant volumes of uncommitted production.

An Australian company, Paladin has brought two uranium mines into production in Africa: Langer Heinrich in Namibia and Kayelekera in Malawi.

Paladin has not had any formal approaches from third parties, but is believed to have received numerous soundings, including from government-controlled entities, Asian trading houses and uranium producers. But to date it has preferred its independence.

Uranium One's uranium production is predominantly in Kazakhstan, although the company also owns 51 per cent of the Honeymoon deposit in South Australia, which recently received the go-ahead from the South Australian government and is scheduled to come into production around the end of this year.

The Canadian group is said to be looking for assets in Africa to diversify its production base from Kazakhstan.

Under the federal government's foreign investment policy, direct investments made by foreign governments and their agencies, irrespective of their size, are notifiable to FIRB, and the ownership or control of the investor by a foreign government raises additional factors for examination.

Paladin has ascertained that Cheetah is wholly owned by Uranium One, which in turn is 16.6 per cent owned by Japan Uranium Management (JUM), 19.3 per cent by Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) and 64.1 per cent by institutional and retail investors.

JUM is a Japanese consortium made up of Tokyo Electric Power (40 per cent), Toshiba (40 per cent) and the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), a Japanese state-owned company, while ARMZ, the world's fifth-largest uranium producer with operating mines in Russia and Kazakhstan, is a Russian state-owned uranium mining company.

ARMZ is part of Rosatom, the Russian state corporation that controls the Russian Federation's nuclear activities. ARMZ supplies strategic feedstock to the Russian nuclear industry.

ARMZ director-general Vadim Zhivoc is a director of Uranium One and the Canadian company has agreed to appoint a second ARMZ representative to the board, subject to shareholder approval.

In June last year, Uranium One and ARMZ entered into a framework agreement under which they agreed to work together to build Uranium One's global platform and develop it into one of the largest uranium producers in the world.

In particular, they agreed to discuss areas of potential co-operation in the uranium industry and that ARMZ would use commercially reasonable efforts to allow Uranium One to participate in investments in uranium exploration projects, or any form of joint venture, to develop or operate uranium exploration properties outside of the Russian Federation.

Moreover, Japan and Russia last year signed a new nuclear co-operation agreement under which Japan can send nuclear material to Russia for enrichment and return to Japan.

However, concerns have been expressed that some of the enriched fuel might be sent to third countries -- including, perhaps, Iran.

The agreement also opens the way for joint mining and oil ventures between the two countries.

As ARMZ owns more than 15 per cent of Uranium One, it would almost certainly be deemed under section 9 of the Foreign Acquisitions & Takeovers Act (FATA) to have a controlling interest in Cheetah's 1.37 per cent stake in Paladin.

There's also JUM's 16.6 per cent stake in Uranium One.

The association provisions of FATA are sweeping and given that the state-owned JBIC owns more than 15 per cent of Uranium One -- together with the nuclear co-operation agreement between Russia and Japan -- it's possible that JUM and ARMZ might be taken to jointly control close to 40 per cent of Uranium One.

Uranium is a sensitive industry as far as the foreign investment policy is concerned, so it may well be that now that Paladin has outed Uranium One, the FIRB and the Australian government will play close attention should there be any further developments.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


VANCOUVER and JOHANNESBURG, April 30 /CNW/ - Uranium One Inc. ("Uranium One" or the "Company") today confirmed that it has acquired an investment in ordinary shares of Paladin Energy Ltd. ("Paladin"). The share purchases were made through Uranium One's 100% owned Luxembourg-based subsidiary Cheetah Resources SARL.

The shares of Paladin were purchased for investment purposes. Uranium One continually reviews its investment alternatives and may, from time to time, acquire additional shares or dispose of its holdings of shares in Paladin.

Although not at a level requiring the lodgement of a substantial shareholder notice, the shareholding raises questions about the identity of the buyer.

Based on publicly available information, Cheetah Resources appears to be a 100% owned subsidiary of TSX/JSX listed uranium company, Uranium One Inc (TSX:UUU).

Uranium One has a market capitalisation of approximately US$1.5 billion. However, upon further investigation, the company has links to Rosatom, the State Corporation controlling all of Russia’s nuclear activities.

Paladin is the largest independent, pure play publicly traded global uranium producer with a market capitalisation of approximately A$2.7 billion. Paladin has two operating mines in Africa and advanced exploration and development assets globally.

A strong production growth profile is expected to expand Paladin’s current production base to in excess of 14Mlb of U3O8 by 2014.

John Borshoff, Managing Director, said to date, Paladin has not been contacted by either Cheetah Resources or Uranium One in regard to this shareholding and is not aware of their intentions in relation to the holding.

As at 22 April 2010, and based on available information, Paladin believes a minimum of 9,839,156 shares has been purchased, which would be equivalent to 1.4% of issued capital.

Interestingly, Uranium One’s largest shareholder is Effective Energy NV, a 100% owned subsidiary of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), which is the appointed and authorised uranium feedstock supplier to the Russian Nuclear Industry.

ARMZ is part of Rosatom. According to the World Nuclear Association, Russia is moving steadily forward with plans for a much expanded role of nuclear energy, with the intention to double output by 2020.

Paladin said the information should be conveyed to the market for the purposes of keeping the market fully informed, particularly in view of the concentrated nature of the global uranium industry and the role Paladin plays in this exclusive sector.

About Uranium One

Uranium One is one of the world's largest publicly traded uranium producers with a globally diversified portfolio of assets located in Kazakhstan, the United States and Australia.