PERTH - Paladin Energy Ltd is pleased to advise that it has received notification on June 22, 2015 from the Canadian Government that its submission to be the majority owner of a uranium mine at the Michelin Project in Canada has been approved. Under the current Non-Resident Ownership Policy (NROP), non-resident mining companies can own 100% of an exploration project but, by the stage of first production, there must be a minimum level of Canadian resident ownership in individual uranium mining projects of 51%.
This posed an obvious limitation to the Michelin Project in Newfoundland and Labrador, which Paladin acquired in 2011. Given the Company's global mining experience and reputation, it has always considered itself as an owner/operator of its uranium projects. The granting of an exemption from NROP allowing Paladin to proceed eventually to production at the Michelin Project without this restriction would permit Paladin to introduce a suitable minority joint-venture partner at the appropriate time should this be desired.
Paladin has undergone an extensive and rigorous appraisal process by the relevant authorities in Canada conducted over a 5-month period. The decision has required the support of the Minister of Natural Resources, the Hon. Greg Rickford, and ultimately the Prime Minister, Mr Harper. During the familiarisation and due diligence process that was conducted to assess the submission for an exemption from NROP, Paladin was questioned on its achievements, technical abilities, environmental performance, commodity knowledge and social responsibility particularly its relation to the local communities and its standing with the Nunatsiavut government, which is tasked to manage the Labrador Inuit Lands. Paladin welcomes the government's pragmatic decision, which will bolster development of Canada's substantial uranium resource. By granting this exemption, the government reinforces the spirit of reciprocity that anchors investment and trade relations between Australia and Canada.
Paladin's Managing Director/CEO John Borshoff said: "Paladin owns uranium projects in Canada and Australia in addition to having developed mining operations in two countries in Africa. As Paladin is an established producer, it is very important to our objective of becoming a truly global uranium producer that Paladin establishes, in due course, a mine in Canada, a country which is a major, highly reputable producer of uranium. With the inevitable market improvement ahead, this exemption allows us to develop a uranium mine at our Michelin Project in Labrador when the uranium price is at an appropriate level and after obtaining all necessary approvals and consents. Receiving this waiver became vital in forwarding progress on this key project. I sincerely thank the Canadian Government for this historic decision and, more importantly, the trust those authorities involved have shown in Paladin which we take very seriously."
For more information, please visit www.paladinenergy.com.au