Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Northern Uranium set to expand mineral rights and change name




·         Agreement with Areva to acquire development rights for all minerals (other than uranium) at the Gardiner Tanami and Browns Range projects.


·         Northern Uranium to operate uranium exploration program in 2011/12


·         Proposal for name change to Northern Minerals Limited, to reflect growth and diversity of mineral portfolio



Northern Uranium Ltd (ASX: NTU) is pleased to announce a number of significant developments designed to reflect the evolution of the company into a multi-commodity exploration vehicle and to better position it to capitalise on its expanded mineral portfolio.


The changes follow the discovery of exciting rare earth element (REE) prospects, and the expansion of its mineral interests around its flagship Gardiner Tanami project.


Northern Uranium has now acquired the pre-emptive rights for all minerals, other than uranium, from its strategic partner Areva, and agreed a number of changes to operational elements of its Strategic Alliance agreement which will enhance the company’s ability to aggressively drive value for its shareholders. In consideration for these changes, the Company has agreed to make a one-off payment of $500,000.


Northern Uranium has also formed a new alliance arrangement with Areva, through which Northern Uranium will operate all exploration programs in 2011/12. Previously, the uranium exploration program at Gardiner Tanami had been operated by Areva’s subsidiary Afmex. From 2011, Northern Uranium will operate the exploration program over all projects, including Gardiner Tanami and Browns Range.


Uranium remains a key focus for the Company, with Areva as a strategic partner in the Gardiner Tanami project


Northern Uranium’s Managing Director George Bauk said the combination of these changes, following other recent developments, have the potential to increase chances of exploration success, and consequently, add shareholder value.


“These changes improve the upside potential for Northern Uranium shareholders and increasingly give the Company more control over the exploration and future development of our project portfolio,” he said.


“During the past twelve months the Company has taken some significant steps to grow its portfolio, with the discovery and development of rare earth prospects, the acquisition of the John Galt project, and the acquisition of exploration ground from Ferrum Crescent.


“We have a prospective portfolio of uranium and rare earth projects, along with some early stage gold and base metals prospects, in what is one of the most under-explored mineral provinces in Australia.


“While uranium remains a key focus for the business, we believe the time is right to change the name to reflect our broadening exploration portfolio.


“Areva remains a strategic partner in the Gardiner Tanami project and it retains the off-take rights for uranium ,Mr Bauk said.


Following these changes, Northern Uranium proposes, subject to shareholder approval, to change its name to Northern Minerals Limited, to reflect the increasing diversity of its exploration and development focus.



New agreement with Areva for mineral rights and exploration


Northern Uranium formed an agreement with French nuclear group Areva in 2007, via its wholly owned subsidiaries, Areva NC Australia Pty Ltd (Areva) and Afmeco Mining and Exploration Pty Ltd (Afmex). Under the terms of the agreement, Afmex was the operator of uranium exploration and development of the Gardiner-Tanami Project (including Browns Range).


Under the initial agreement, Areva held a pre-emptive right for the development of all minerals. Northern Uranium has now acquired the pre-emptive development rights for minerals, other than uranium, for the Gardiner Tanami and Browns Range project.


As part of the new alliance agreement with Areva, Northern Uranium will also operate the exploration program at Gardiner Tanami and Browns Range in calendar years 2011 and 2012.


“It really means Northern Uranium has control of its own destiny, and it will open the door to a range of development options in the future,” Mr Bauk said.


“We are also now boosting our exploration team and planning a substantial uranium and rare earth exploration program in 2011/12.”



Change of name – General Meeting


Northern Uranium also proposes to change its name to Northern Minerals Limited, and will seek approval from shareholders for this change at a proposed General Meeting.


The General Meeting is expected to be held in early February 2011. Shareholders will be mailed a Notice of Meeting in coming weeks.

No comments: