Berkeley Energia Limited (LON:BKY,ASX:BKY) has received the initial US$65mln tranche of funding for its Salamanca project from the Sultanate of Oman’s sovereign wealth fund.
The payment means that capital costs for production at the Salamanca mine – the only uranium mine under construction anywhere in the world – are fully funded.
With the funding now completed, Berkeley will award the major construction and mining contracts and commence major earthworks early in the New Year.
Concurrent with the payment of the first tranche of funding, Deepankar Panigrahi, investment manager in the Private Equity division of the State General Reserve Fund of Oman, has joined the Berkeley board as a non-executive director.
“Spot uranium prices have risen sharply since the announcement in early November by Cameco that it has temporarily suspended production from the McArthur River due to continued uranium price weakness,” noted Paul Atherley, managing director of Berkeley Energia.
“Over the coming months, we expect more supply to be removed from global markets as higher cost operations are forced into closure when historical sales contracts roll off.
“The Salamanca mine, with some of the lowest operating costs globally, is being constructed at the bottom of the uranium price cycle and when production commences the market is expected to be dominated by US utilities looking to re-contract, who will at the same time be competing with Chinese and Japanese reactor demand," he added.
Shares in Berkeley Energia were up 3.2% at 52.12p in mid-morning trade.