SYDNEY, April 6 (Reuters) - Canadian uranium giant Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) will start an exploration programme at its Kintyre uranium mine in western Australia in June, the group said on Monday, after acquiring the site from Rio Tinto last year for for $495 million.
“It is a fairly significant drill programme that will start hopefully in June/July and run through to next year,” said Ron Matthews, whose appointment as managing director of the project was also announced on Monday.
Cameco hopes to develop Kintyre as a low-cost open pit operation that would diversify the company geographically.
“The project is a priority for Cameco in the exploration and development stakes as they see it as a significant deposit,” said Matthews.
Rio Tinto sold the project to Cameco and its partner Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) as part of an asset divestment programme aimed at reducing debt.
The deal saw Cameco take 70 percent and Mitsubishi 30 percent after a new state government in Western Australia reversed a policy that had blocked uranium mining in the state since the 1970s. (Reporting by Bruce Hextall)