Langer Heinrich poised to go 20 more
Paladin Energy is aligning all its ducks to ensure the longevity of its flagship mining operation, Langer Heinrich. Paladin recently managed to raise US$100 million through a placement, however, the exact proportion geared towards Langer Heinrich remains to be seen as the project competes against projects in Canada and Palladin’s native Australia.
Commenting on the placement, John Borshoff, Managing Director of Paladin Energy said, “The successful completion of this raising along with the concurrent tender offer for the 2015 CBs eliminates all of the near term refinancing risk and both reduces and extends the Company’s debt maturity profile. This significant de-risking of the balance sheet, along with the expected recovery in uranium prices, ensures Paladin remains well positioned to capitalise on its unique standing in the uranium market.”
He added, “We remain fully committed to realising value for shareholders and our recently completed initiatives have provided the Company a strong base from which to continue negotiations with current and potential strategic partners on other initiatives, which will provide further funding flexibility and help fast track both consolidation and the development of our world class asset pipeline,” Borshoff said.
Paladin has initiated a number of cost reduction initiatives currently in force at the Langer Heinrich mine as Paladin positions itself for the future, aiming to increase production by another 20 years. Langer Heinrich’s fourth stage expansion is expected to commence in 2017 or 2018, largely dependent on market factors.
A bi-carbonate recovery plant is being commissioned at Langer Heinrich. The bi-carbonate recovery plant should be completed by March this year according to Paladin while targeting production costs of circa US$20 per pound uranium oxide by its financial year 2017. For the current financial year, cost of production is anticipated around US$26 per pound uranium oxide.
Quarter on quarter production increased 27% to 1.3Mlb. A recovery of 84.5% was achieved in comparison to 80.7% for the September quarter. Paladin’s most recent production guidance envisages output of between 5.2 and 5.5 Mlb uranium oxide for the financial year 2015 while its Malawian operation is anticipated to resume operations in the near future.