Toshiba has secured the right to a "significant portion" of the output from the planned Madaouela uranium mine in Niger under a convertible debt-financing agreement with exploration and development company GoviEx.
|Identifying new targets at the Madaouela deposit (Image: GoviEx)
The agreement sees Toshiba providing a total of some $40 million of funding to GoviEx to support operations through to the start of uranium extraction and processing. Of that, $30 million of financing is through a purchase of GoviEx bonds, with $10 million from a loan of 0.2 million pounds of uranium to GoviEx. A 14-year off-take agreement gives Toshiba the right to acquire a "significant portion" of uranium output from Madouela.
The Madaouela deposit is located near Arlit, where uranium has been produced for over 40 years. A preliminary economic assessment published by GoviEx in March 2011 reported NI43-101 compliant indicated resources of 51.680 million pounds U3O8 (nearly 19,600 tU) and inferred resources of 50.854 million pounds U3O8 (nearly 19,600 tU).
Production is expected to begin in 2017, with Toshiba's offtake rights coming into effect in 2020 when output is expected to reach its peak annual capacity of 2.7 million pounds U3O8 (just over 1000 tU). Based on current figures, the mine is expected to have a 15-year life, although ongoing exploration could potentially see the resource base expand. Sales of Toshiba's off-take of approximately 0.6 million pounds U3O8 (231 tU) will be handled by Advanced Uranium Asset Management, itself a Toshiba Group company.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News