The Kayelekera Uranium mine project was closed down in 2014 when the owner Paladin Africa placed the mine under maintenance after global uranium prices collapsed in the wake of the Japanese nuclear disaster.

On the other hand Malawi Government is still negotiating with the company on a new Mining Development Agreement (MDA).

In statement of a debt adviser to help finance the resumption of the agreement signed by Lotus Managing Director Keith Bowes that was posted on the company’s website, the company provided insight into its timetable for resumption.

The statement started tht Lotus has selected the debt adviser Orimco, based on its demonstrated track record, knowledge and experience arranging debt for resource projects in Africa and globally.

Orimco will assist Lotus in arranging cost-effective debt to help finance Kayelekera’s restart while reducing dilution of existing shareholders. Orimco brings a high level of expertise and deal experience, and they look forward to working closely with them.

The appointment of a debt adviser is key step in advancing Kayelekera towards FID.

The statement reads that they recent A$30 million placement to strategic investors have allowed Lotus to accelerate the Kayelekera feed studies, whilst also providing sufficient funding to place orders for long lead items and undertake the early work programmes so that they can de-risk the refurbishment timeline and provide more confidence in achieving an end 2025 start date for the mine.

Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) has shown that Kayelekera needs a $88 million (about K154 billion) investment to restart with production expected for 10 years.

Minister of Mining Monica Chang’anamuno said government is still working on the MDA and once is done, the mine will be up and running.

Chang’anamuno said it is not only them that have a role to play on the agreement. Once they both agree, the mining work will resume.

Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda on his part said government is working on a best deal for both parties.

He also added that they are still working on the MDA, they are trying to come up with the best deal for Malawi, once they are done and they agree, the mining at Kayerekera will start.

Lotus owns an 85 percent interest in the Kayelekera Uranium Project in Malawi and 100 percent of the Latlhakane Uranium Project Botswana. Kayelekera is the fourth largest uranium asset globally by historical annual production.

The closure of Kayelekera has had a crippling effect on the country’s economy. The mine was operational after being commissioned in 2009, posting economic growth which has not been matched since.

In the meantime, Malawi’s major export commodity tobacco has continued to struggle due to  the growing anti- smoking lobby.

Source:Times

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