Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Epangelo in JV With Deep Yellow

State owned mining entity, Epangelo mining has established a joint venture with uranium exploration company, Deep Yellow Limited for the development of the Aussinanis uranium project.

The two parties announced Tuesday that they had executed a Heads of Agreement to progress the Aussinanis Project located mostly within Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) 3498. The project has a JORC Compliant Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 34.6 M tonnes at 237 ppm U3O8 for 18.1 Mlb U3O8 at cut-off grade of 150 ppm U3O8.

As part of the agreement, Reptile Uranium, a local investment vehicle for Deep Yellow Limited (DYL) transferred its Aussinanis and Ripnes EPLs into a newly established company, Yellow Dune Uranium Resources while Epangelo acquired an initial 5% of Yellow Dune to fund testwork to demonstrate that the Aussinanis deposit can be upgraded by physical beneficiation.

Assuming that the testwork is successful, Epangelo will become the operator of the joint venture and would earn up to 70% in Yellow Dune by funding a pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility study. Reptile Uranium and Oponona will at that stage hold 20% and 10% respectively

It was not immediately clear how Epangelo acquired the 5% shareholding in the project, and how the project will be funded going forward. Eliphas Hawala, MD for Epangelo said: " Aussinanis is a relatively small operation by world standards and we believe that the costs will be moderate. We will finance the project through various ingeneous ways, including putting some of our own in-sourced technical inputs to reduce costs.

"Ideally, we would prefer the shareholder to own up to its responsibility to fund its own company in order for the project to succeed. It appears we just have to prove the hard way that these type of projects can be done before our principles finally wake up and realise that this country will only be built and the un-employment situation will only be solved by investing in our own resources instead of sending billions of Tipeeg dollars back to the treasury while Epangelo receives peanuts, despite our best efforts."

Hawala was however ecstatic on the company's latest achievement despite being financially hamstrung.

"I am excited in signing the JV agreement, but as a scientist I will not start jumping yet until we finish all the necessary test work and feasibility studies that have to be done.

He said his team will continue to push ahead with the "hope that our principles will realise sooner rather than later that they have to capitalise this company or end up losing these resources to others who are more agressive and less risk averse."

Deep Yellow's Managing Director, Greg Cochran welcomed the establishment of the new joint venture with Epangelo, recognising it as a significant opportunity for the state owned entity to develop its operational capability with the support of DYL and its Namibian subsidiary RUN.

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