As the price of uranium surges upwards of US$100 per pound, mining companies have started repositioning themselves for intensified activity in the lucrative sector.
This is the highest price for the yellow cake since 2008 and according to the Bank of Namibia, the uranium sector in Namibia is poised for a turnaround, with growth projected at 14,8% in 2023 and an additional 5,2% in 2024.
While Orano Mining Namibia evaluates next steps which could lead to restarting operations at its Trekkopje Mine in the Erongo region, Bannerman Energy has changed its board and key executive roles in preparation for the next phase of its flagship project, the Etango Uranium Project in Namibia.
According to miningandenergy.com, Bannerman, the Australian uranium development company, says the Etango Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium assets. The company made the changes, effective from early next month, as part of preparations for the development of Etango mine.
Bannerman managing director and chief executive Brandon Munro will take over as executive chairman to continue heading the financing efforts for Etango. He will oversee corporate affairs and manage capital markets interactions.
“These changes are designed to set up our business for the next phase of its advancement.
Critically, they allow us to further build senior executive capacity as we approach the targeted construction and long-term operation of a world-class uranium mine at Etango,” Munro said.
Gavin Chamberlain, who joined Bannerman in 2023 as chief operating officer, will take up the role of chief executive. He played a crucial role in the development of the Husab Uranium project, positioning him well to lead Bannerman through Etango’s development.
“I believe we have a high-performance organisation that is a solid platform to transition into future operations.
I look forward to further driving our business and the Etango Project to deliver substantial benefits for all stakeholders,” Chamberlain said.
Allison Terry will be the lead independent director, bringing extensive experience as a senior resources and corporate affairs executive on board.
“Her expertise in sustainability, environmental, social and governance dynamics, and legal affairs will be invaluable as Bannerman progresses towards its development goals,” noted Bannerman.
The company, which was granted a mining licence by the Ministry of Mines and Energy for the Etango project, has already awarded two key contracts for the construction of water supply and a site access road, with a combined value of approximately N$36 million.
Meanwhile, Orano Mining Namibia spokesperson Christine de Klerk last week said the Trekkopje project is periodically under review in response to market conditions, to see if the conditions to put the mine into production have been met or not.
“The current spot price of uranium is one of the criteria but other considerations need to be taken into account.”
She said the resurgence in uranium spot price is seen as positive news for the uranium mining industry around the world, reflecting renewed interest in nuclear energy as a viable solution in the fight against climate change.
Namibia, the fourth largest uranium producer in the world, exported N$2,8 billion worth of the yellowcake in November 2023, constituting 23,3% of its total exports for the month.
According to a statement from the Namibia Statistics Agency, the country’s mineral revenue is the driving force behind its economic performance and all the uranium produced during the month was destined for China.
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