Paladin seeks growth, locks in Chinese investor
Pending Chinese regulatory approval, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) will gain a 25% stake in Paladin’s Langer Heinrich Uranium operation, subject to be completed by mid 2014. The sale of the minority stake to CNNC will enable Paladin to re-affirm plans to reign in corporate debt while also providing Langer Heinrich access to the Chinese nuclear energy market, Paladin said. The mining house also announced that consent for the deal has already been obtained from the Bank of Namibia.
Paladin entered into agreements with its lenders to refinance the Langer Heinrich project finance facility. For the calender year under review, Paladin had secured US$5.7 million for its Langer Heinrich operation. CNNC has already paid a non-refundable deposit amounting to US$20 million, released from escrow.
Paladin further stated that its partnership with CNNC would allow it to jointly take advantage of growth and development opportunities in the uranium sector once the uranium price recovers to a level where such investment becomes financially attractive.
“CNNC is the ideal joint-venture partner for Langer Heinrich Uranium, due to the stature of this highly regarded organisation in China and internationally and given its ability to develop, build and operate nuclear power plants. Having this highly respected member of the Chinese nuclear power industry participating in Langer Heinrich is a very significant and positive development for both the company and for Namibia.” Paladin said in a statement.
“The Langer Heinrich Joint Venture represents a formidable partnership focused on advancing global uranium production. The joint venture will ensure, with increasing uranium prices, the long term growth and development of Langer Heinrich. This development also reinforces the importance of Namibia in the global uranium mining context with the key Chinese nuclear organisations now represented in uranium production in Namibia,” the statement added.
“Paladin has been successful in attracting a highly-respected organisation such as CNNC because of the company’s achievements within the conventional uranium mining industry. Paladin has achieved its operational targets and, importantly, introduced significant technological advancement to its treatment plants so that Paladin has now become a world leader in mining, processing and treatment of low to medium grade uranium ores. Paladin, through its enterprise and vision, rejuvenated the uranium industry in Namibia and its success caused many other companies to follow it to Namibia, from which further uranium discoveries and opportunities have been realised in this country,” the mining house spinned.