LILONGWE (Mining Review)– Pending Malawi parliamentary approval and introduction of a new Mining Act in Malawi, the Malawi Mines Department has deferred the issue of two exploration licenses to ASX-listed uranium producer Paladin Energy.
The exploration licences, Kopakopa and Nthalire, are located south of the company’s 85%-owned Kayelekera uranium mine, which remains on care and maintenance.
The reason for this delay is that Australian-based mining and energy company Intra Energy has coal exploration licenses for the same lease areas and the Government of Malawi is endeavouring to clear these license overlaps before the introduction of the new Mining Act.
Paladin said in its quarterly activities report on Thursday that it will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the Malawi Mines Department and prepare for the introduction of the new legislation.
As a result of this, exploration in the September quarter was concentrated on surface geophysical surveys, stream sediment sampling and geological mapping in areas to the east of the mine.
During the quarter Paladin continued implementing cash flow optimisation, including reductions in corporate costs, exploration and Kayelekera care and maintenance costs, reducing annualised cash expenditure by approximately US$14 million.
Paladin also reduced its corporate staff by approximately 60% during the September quarter and reduced board fees.
Paladin says that since implementing the cash flow optimisation initiatives, the company’s annual guidance reaffirms that it expects to become cash positive in 2016 while it also expects each subsequent quarter of FY16 to be cash flow positive at current spot uranium prices and foreign exchange rates.