Authorization reinstated but First Uranium still cautious

26 February 2010

A corrected version of the environmental authorization for a planned tailings reclamation project at First Uranium's Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) project in South Africa has been reinstated.

MWS (First Uranium)
MWS (Image: First Uranium)
A decision by the provincial government to withdraw the authorization for the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) in January prompted First Uranium to put crucial financing efforts on hold. The authorization was subsequently reinstated on 10 February, but ambiguities in the    reinstatement documentation meant that First Uranium could still not go ahead with the project.
Now, according to First Uranium, the North West Provincial Government's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Rural Development has issued a positive decision on the amended application which correctly describes the project location. This means that preparation for construction of the TSF can begin as soon as funding is in place.
First Uranium president and CEO Gordon Miller said that the company would now concentrate on the process of securing the necessary financing for the construction of the tailings storage facility at MWS and on plans for ramping up production at both of its South African operations.
Despite its reinstatement, First Uranium has reiterated that the removal of the authorization has nevertheless severely impacted its access to additional funding and compromised its financial position. This was further compounded by slower production than expected from First Uranium's Ezulwini gold and uranium mine, which became fully operational in 2009. Although negotiations with potential strategic investors are ongoing, the company has taken pains to warn that these might not be successful.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

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