Construction starts at SA uranium mine

Construction has started at the Four Mile uranium project in South Australia, despite one joint venture partner voting against the action.

Holding a 25 per cent interest in the operation, Alliance Resources voted against launching construction but majority partner Quasar resources with its 75 per cent stake, voted in favour.

Located 550 kilometres north of Adelaide, Four Mile was discovered in 2005 and is estimated to contain 15,000 tonnes of uranium oxide, or about 32 million pounds at 0.37 per cent.

Quasar is expected to provide an updated schedule of activities and cash flow projections which will reflect project delays, including securing government approvals, in coming weeks.

The company is a subsidiary of US based General Atomics and an affiliate of Heathgate Resources, the owner of nearby Beverly mine.

Four Mile will use the in situ leach mining method and share the Beverly mine production facility.

The joint venture partners have not had a smooth relationship to date with Alliance announcing to the ASX in its September quarterly report that its claim of misleading and deceptive conduct against Quasar is set down for trial in June 2014.

Alliance is seeking damages and the return of the 75 per cent interest in the exploration licence over Four Mile from Quasar, claiming it failed to disclose ACE information concerning the prospectivity of part of the tenement.

Previous legal proceedings for access to books, records and agreements relating to the Four Mile joint venture had been refused, with costs awarded to Quasar and Heathgate.

Alliance has previously reported capital and operating costs for the mine would be $97.8 million, of which its share would equate to $24.45 million.

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