By Staff Reporter Windhoek Forsys Metals Corp, which owns the Valencia Uranium project, said it is seeking to raise US$38 million to fund the initial development of its Namibian operation as well as procure mining equipment. In a statement, the Canadian-based Forsys Metals, which is also pursuing gold and diamond interests in Namibia, said it has engaged Salman Partners Inc to be the lead financiers in raising the US$38 million. Forsys said that it has floated 8 million common shares at US$4.75 per share with an over-allotment option of an additional 2 million shares for gross proceeds up to US$47.5 million. “Proceeds will be used by the company to advance development of the Valencia Uranium project, including advanced ordering of long-lead time items and equipment required for the project.” “In addition, certain amounts of the proceeds will be used for general working capital purposes and the development of the company’s other uranium properties,” Duane Parnham, Forsys Metals chief executive said. Company officials have previously said that the Valencia Uranium project could come on stream in the next two years. Government last December granted Forsys Metals another exclusive prospecting licence for uranium in the west-central part of the country. Should it come on stream, Valencia is going to be Namibia’s third uranium mine following the successful commissioning of Langer Heinrich Uranium mine on December 28 last year. Langer Heinrich is owned by Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-quoted Paladin Resources. Forsys Metal’s Valencia Uranium deposit is located 35 km along the geological strike from RÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing Uranium mine and approximately 40 km north of the Langer Heinrich deposit. “This is a gigantic uranium deposit that it geologically similar to RÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¶ssing,” said Parnham. In a related development ASX-listed West Australian Metals (WME), the latest firm to join the rush for Namibia’s uranium, last Thursday announced a discovery of rich deposits of the highly priced mineral at its Marenica project in Namibia. WME said that sampling had revealed widespread, near surface mineralisation and identified possible extensions outside the main prospected area. Company officials said that the Marenica project has confirmed mineralisation in excess of 100 metres in width and grades up to 1 005 ppm (0.10 percent) uranium oxide within the trenches. WME said that it has sunk in US$1.9 million into exploration though the firm did not indicate when it would move to commercially exploit the uranium deposits. “The company is most encouraged by these latest results which follow the widespread areas of significant uranium mineralisation reported from phase one of our trench and pit geo-chemical sampling program,” said technical director Leon Reisgys in a statement. Analysts say that WME’s positive findings also confirm Namibia as the Australian investors’ new uranium frontier. Australian firm Paladin Resources commissioned its US$92 million Langer Heinrich mine in the last weeks of December 2006. “In particular, the results now available confirm the finding that the highest uranium grades are in trenches located in the most north-western and southern trenches indicating likely extensions, or the presence of higher grade zones outside the sampled area,” Reisgys added. Namibia, which is estimated to hold Africa’s second largest reserves of uranium, is a uranium-friendly mining country. In October 2005 Mines and Energy Minister Erkki Nghimtina told the National Assembly: “Namibia should consider exploiting its uranium ore reserves in the light of world uranium prices.” Uranium industry analysts estimate global demand for the mineral to will double in the next 25 years, fuelled by China’s ambitious plan to increase nuclear energy capacity five-fold to 40 gigawatts by 2020, equalling Russia’s nuclear plans for 2030, and twice as large as India’s plans. Analysts say that there are 28 nuclear reactors under construction globally whilst another 62 are being planned. Japan intends to add 11 more by 2010 and China 24 by 2020. Market watchers say that about 440 nuclear reactors in the world require more than 154 million pounds of uranium from mines and stockpiles per annum. The demand for the mineral has seen uranium prices doubling last year and are up six-fold in the last five years at US$72 per pound. Analysts have raised 2008 uranium prices forecast by 78 percent, citing increasing demand and delays in new mine output and increased demand from nuclear reactors being built in China and India. The Namibian government said that it has issued 15 uranium exploration licences during the past six months.
29.4 ° C