Work on Australia’s most recently approved uranium mine has been delayed by at least four months after a holdup in securing a mining lease.
Joint venture partner Alliance Resources said that work at the FourMile uranium project in South Australia will not start until at least April 2010, rather than the originally flagged time of January next year.
The postponement stems from a mining lease having not yet been granted by the South Australian government, which has experienced delays related to the registration of an already signed Native Title agreement, Alliance said.
Alliance owns a 25% stake in the operation, with the remainder of FourMile owned by Quasar Resources, itself an affiliate of Heathgate Resources, owners of the nearby Beverly Uranium mine.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garret gave final approval for the FourMile mine in July this year.
In other uranium news, Cameco has completed 27,000 metres of drilling at the Angela uranium project in the Northern Territory.
Angela project manager Stephan Stander told MINING DAILY that while he remains positive about the quality and size of the ore body itself, the project’s future will depend on the long term price of uranium.
“There is enough uranium there,” he said.
“It all depends on what the uranium price does.
“It has come off a bit since its peak that we had a year or two ago, but if we can get it back to those sorts of levels I definitely think Angela will be viable.”
Stander said that regardless of what the latest drilling results reveal, actual mining at Angela is still some way off in the future.
“We will not start to apply for a mining license until at least the end of 2010, when we have a good idea of the economics of the project,” he said.