LONDON Nov 30 Finnish miner Talvivaara
has secured approval from the European Union to sell
uranium, it said on Wednesday, allowing it to press ahead with
an offtake agreement with Canadian producer Cameco
signed earlier this year.
Approval from the Euratom Supply Agency, which is charged
with ensuring a regular supply of nuclear fuels to EU users,
follows approval from the European Commission and is the first
step in the uranium permitting process -- and a requirement as
part of the Finnish government licensing procedure.
"We have successfully reached the first milestone in the
permitting process and we remain confident that, with final
approvals over the coming period, we will soon be able to
deliver further value from our ore at Talvivaara through uranium
by-product extraction," Chief Executive Pekka Perä said.
Cameco and Talvivaara had signed an agreement in February
for Cameco -- which already supplies uranium to generate clean
electricity for Finnish utilities -- to take uranium obtained as
a by-product at the Sotkamo mine.
Under the deal, Cameco is to provide an upfront investment
of $60 million to cover the cost of building a uranium
extraction circuit. The investment will be repaid through
deliveries of uranium concentrate.
"To date we have excluded uranium from our earnings
forecasts given that permitting was at an early stage," Liberum
analysts said in a morning note. "We calculate Talviaara's net
asset value at 5.67 pounds/share, but including the uranium
stream would take this to 6.18 pounds/share or 177 percent above
Talvivaara's current share price."
Talvivaara's London shares were trading down 0.5 percent at
222.1 pence at 1030 GMT, outperforming a 2.2 percent drop in the
UK mining sector.