MANYINGEE URANIUM PROJECT (Manyingee)
Paladin Energy Minerals NL 100%
Manyingee is located in the north-west of Western Australia, 1,100km north of Perth and 85km inland from the coastal township of Onslow. The property is comprised of three mining leases covering 1,307 hectares. Paladin also holds one granted Exploration Licence (EPL 08/1496) totalling 89km2 at Spinifex Well, 25km north-east of Manyingee.
Paladin purchased Manyingee in 1998 from Afmeco Mining and Exploration Pty Ltd (AFMEX), a subsidiary company of Cogema of France. Paladin’s 100% interest in Manyingee is held through its wholly owned subsidiary, Paladin Energy Minerals NL.
AFMEX (previously named Total Mining Australia Pty Ltd) discovered uranium mineralisation at Manyingee in 1973 during regional exploration. Between 1973 and 1984 some 400 holes were drilled and this established the extent and continuity of the sediment hosted uranium mineralisation in permeable sandstone in palaeochannels. Field trials by AFMEX demonstrated that the Manyingee sandstone hosted uranium deposit is amenable to extraction by in-situ recovery (ISR).
Manyingee contains JORC (1999) Code compliant Mineral Resources as shown below:
(Figures may not add due to rounding)
The change of State Government in Western Australia in late 2008 resulted in the removal of uranium mining restrictions in Western Australia. Subsequently Paladin reactivated Manyingee and is planning to start field exploration as soon as an exploration access agreement has been negotiated with the traditional owners and land access and work approvals have been received from the relevant authorities.
At Spinifex Well, where previous explorers identified uranium mineralisation in the same strata which includes the Manyingee ore body, an air core drilling programme was carried out in May-June 2010. 32 holes were drilled for 3,326.5m. Results confirmed previously identified uranium mineralisation and increased Paladin’s understanding of the factors controlling the mineralisation.
OOBAGOOMA URANIUM PROJECT (Oobagooma)
Paladin Energy Minerals NL 100%
Oobagooma, beneficially held 100% by Paladin, through its wholly owned subsidiary, is located in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia, 1,900km north-north-east of Perth and 75km north-east of the regional centre of Derby. The project comprises two long-standing applications for exploration licences covering 452km2.
In 1998 Paladin acquired a call option in relation to the purchase of Oobagooma and, in turn, granted a put option to the original holder of the project. Exercise of both options is subject to the exploration licences being granted by the State. The exploration licences are situated on freehold land owned by the Commonwealth Government and used by the military for training purposes. Consent of the Commonwealth Government and the Department of Defence will be required before the mining tenements can be granted. Negotiations with the relevant Government bodies were initiated in the first half of 2010. Government and Defence representatives have indicated their support for the Oobagooma Project and an access agreement has been proposed to permit Paladin’s exploration activities on the military training area.
The Oobagooma project area was explored by AFMEX in the period from 1983 to 1986 during which time extensive zones of uranium mineralisation were discovered. Following detailed examination of the work done by AFMEX, the Company has formulated an exploration target for the prospect of approximately 8Mt at a grade of between 0.12% and 0.14% U3O8.
Previous tonnages, grades, assays and other technical data are taken from historical records prior to the implementation of JORC or NI 43-101. While the data are believed to have been acquired, processed and disclosed by persons believed to be technically competent, it is unverifiable at present. A Competent Person as defined under the JORC Code or Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current Mineral Resources. Paladin is not treating any historical estimates as current Mineral Resources as defined in either the JORC Code or NI 43-101 and the historical estimates should not be relied upon.
In November 2008 the State Government of Western Australia changed and the restrictions on uranium mining were lifted. Paladin has engaged with the Commonwealth Government Departments of Finance and Defence to obtain permission to carry out exploration on the Oobagooma tenement applications. Discussions are underway with the Western Australian Department of Mines and Energy regarding the granting of the tenements.
The information above relating to exploration, mineral resources and ore reserves is, except where stated, based on information compiled by Eduard Becker B.Sc, David Princep B.Sc and Andrew Hutson B.E., all of whom are members of the AusIMM. Messrs Becker, Princep and Hutson each have sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking to qualify as Competent Persons as defined in the 2004 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”, and as a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Messrs Becker, Princep and Hutson are full-time employees of Paladin Energy Ltd and consent to the inclusion of this information in the form and context in which it appears.
AUSTRALIA’S URANIUM POLITICS
At the national level of Australian politics, both the Federal Labor Party and the Federal Coalition parties support development of the uranium industry. However, the granting of licences to mine uranium is a decision made within the residual jurisdiction of each state government.
The state based Labor governments of South Australia and the Northern Territory support existing mines and are receptive to new uranium projects in those states.
A state election held in Western Australia on 6 September 2008 resulted in a change of government from Labor to a Liberal-National Party coalition, which will allow uranium mining in Western Australia. This has reversed the no-development policy of the former state Labor Government, which previously held power in Western Australian for seven years. The change of policy has triggered a resurgence of uranium activity in Western Australia and clears the way for further work on the Company’s Manyingee and Oobagooma Projects in the State.
At present, the State Labor Government in Queensland will not grant a licence to mine uranium. To progress the currently defined uranium resources in the Mount Isa region to reserve status will require a state government policy change in Queensland either by a change to state Labor’s existing policy or a change in government. Through membership of industry bodies, such as the Australian Uranium Association and the Queensland Resources Council, Paladin is involved in debate and research to facilitate a change in government policy. Currently, Queensland Premier Bligh will not permit uranium mining, although this view is not shared by all Labor members of Parliament. The opposition party (the Liberal-National Party of Queensland) supports development of the uranium industry. State elections in Queensland must be held no later than early 2012.