Windhoek, Namibia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 November 2011 – State-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) and Namibian state-owned Epangelo Mining Company have entered into an agreement to try and secure a 10% stake in Namibia’s Husab project “’ the fourth biggest uranium deposit in the world.
Namibian mines and energy minister Isak Katali has confirmed the working agreement, but he dispelled speculation that the Chinese were trying to become a shareholder in Epangelo.
“Epangelo is a 100% state-owned company and shareholding is not an option,” Katali confirmed.
“Epangelo and CGNPC will be in partnership only through a working agreement, and only to secure a stake in Husab,” he said. Katali declined to go into the details of how the agreement would work.
Husab belongs to Australian-based Extract Resources, which has already applied for a mining licence to develop the mine next to Rössing at a cost of about US$1.7 billion.
Earlier this year, cabinet decided to allocate exclusive exploration and mining licences of all strategic minerals, including uranium, to Epangelo. CGNPG is also in take-over talks with UK-based Kalahari Minerals plc, which owns 43% of Extract Resources.
The Chinese company recently made a US$951 million bid for Kalahari, lower than the US$1.2 billion it had offered earlier this year before the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Following the disaster, CGNPC dropped its offer, which was blocked by the UK takeover panel watchdog.
Negotiations were revived in October. Kalahari confirmed the offer at the time, but said discussions might or might not lead to an offer being made.
The Chinese have until 8 December to commit to the offer to Kalahari, and can seek an extension of this deadline.