First Uranium considers generating own power

15 February 2008

First Uranium announced on 13 February that it has concluded a preliminary review of the feasibility of generating its own power due to on-going power shortages in South Africa. The company's board has concluded that its two projects - the Ezulwini gold and uranium mine and Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) - are sufficiently robust to continue development as planned on the addition of power generation capacity. First Uranium described its need to shut down operations during the recent power crisis as having to "impose voluntary shut-downs of mine development and [ore] hoisting activity" at Ezulwini. First Uranium said "the decision to invest in generating our own power is a temporary measure until the 'Power Situation' has normalized, which may take several years." The company earlier announced: "At this startup stage... it is estimated that for every operation day lost during the quarter ending 31 March, First Uranium would expect to lose an average of 888 tonnes of [uranium-bearing] ore processed and approximately 170 ounces of gold." Gordon Miller, president and CEO of First Uranium, said that the company has "several alternatives to adjust our uses and sources of power with the intent to start uranium production as close to plan as the Power Situation will allow." The first module of the uranium processing plant at Ezulwini remains on schedule for commissioning in June 2008.

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