First African uranium licences granted for Shield

16 December 2007 | 03:48 Code : 16255 Geoscience events
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Australia’s Shield Mining has been awarded its first licences to explore for....

  Australia’s Shield Mining has been awarded its first licences to explore for uranium in the West African country of Mauritania.The company said first work on the acreage will commence in the New Year. Shield said it is also looking to rapidly grow its new uranium position by at least a further 60% through four uranium exploration applications currently with government authorities.The maiden approvals cover two licence areas totalling 2,815sqkm, although granting of all four current applications would extend those uranium-only exploration rights to nearly 4,400sqkm.Shield Mining’s Chief Executive Officer, David Netherway said these uranium licences generally cover the company’s existing gold and base metal licences and ensure the company is not pegged over for uranium.“This provides a level of security of tenure at a time when global commodities and energy markets are increasingly accepting the need for accelerated uranium exploration and discoveries to support the move in many demographics to new or expanded nuclear power options,” Mr Netherway said.The first exploration licence, announced yesterday, 503 B4, spans 1381sqkm and overlies the current Saboussiri Group 2 (gold and base metals) licence held by Shield.The second exploration licence, 504 B4, spans 1434sqkm and partly overlies the current Conchita Florence Group 2 (gold and base metals) licences, which are held by Shield as part of the Conchita Florence Project.Shield said its 2008 work program will initially comprise a series of ground spectrometer traverses over the “hamadas” as an adjunct to the current work programs for gold and base metals in the area.Hamadas are the topographically inverted calcreted lakebeds, the basal units of which are recorded in the Northern Mauritania region as containing uranium mineralisation.

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