Chinese Companies Upping Uranium Stakes


"Australia approved two separate investments by Chinese companies in Australian uranium exploration companies."

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved two separate investments by Chinese companies in Australian uranium exploration companies.

The China Uranium Development Company (CUD) agreed in September to acquire up to 70% of Energy Metals—subject to various conditions, including the approval of the Australian and Chinese governments. According to Energy Metals, CUD has now received notification of approval from FIRB and has also recently announced the extension of its offer to 4 December.

Energy Metals notes that the offer still remains conditional on approval from Chinese regulators plus acceptance by 51% of existing shareholders. In a letter to shareholders, Energy Metals managing director Lindsay Dudfield urged shareholders to accept the offer in the absence of any superior proposals. "Energy Metals has received no proposals since the announcement of the CUD offer. Our view is. . .that it is in the best interests of all Energy Metals shareholders to partner with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co by accepting the CUD offer," he said.

Energy Metals has nine projects in Australia's Northern Territory and Western Australia, including the relatively high uranium Bigrlyi project in Northern Territory. Most of the projects contain uranium mineralization discovered by major companies in the 1970s.

Chinese Miner Buys in to Junior

Meanwhile, Chinese state-owned mining company Hebei Mining's acquisition of a 14.9% stake in junior mining company Raisama has also been approved by the FIRB. The 4.5 million new shares and 2.5 million existing shares bought by Heibei for 25 cents each represent a total investment of A$1.75 million ($1.59 million) in the currently unlisted Sydney-based company.

"The Hebei provincial government currently has plans to build at least three nuclear reactors and is selectively securing strategic interests in uranium exploration companies internationally that it believes have the best potential to meet the province's growing need for uranium," Raisama told its shareholders.

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