Toro in talks with external partners for WA’s Wiluna uranium mine project
The company is currently in talks with seven potential partners in Japan, China and South Korea.
It plans to strike a deal before reaching an investment decision in order to commence the uranium mine project by the end of 2013, reports Bloomberg.
Toro Energy managing director Vanessa Guthrie told the media corporation that the company expects to offer a stake between 30% and 50% in the mine, as part of a supply deal.
Wiluna uranium mine, located nearly 1,000km northeast of Perth, WA, has drawn interest from Asian trading companies as well as various nuclear utilities, she said.
A supply shortfall is expected from 2016, which is encouraging potential partners and customers to seek secure supply, Guthrie added.
Last week, the project was granted final environmental clearance from Australia's federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
The project will be WA's first uranium mine, following the state government's decision to lift a ban on uranium mining in 2008.
It took almost 3.5 years for Toro to receive all the required regulatory and environmental clearances from state and federal governments.
Wiluna uranium mine comprises two deposits, Lake Way and Centipede, and will process 1.3 million tonnes per annum, with expected production of about 780t of uranium oxide concentrate based on up to 14 years of mine life.
It is expected to begin initial production by the end of 2015, in time to capitalise on the predicted supply shortfall.
Image: Wiluna uranium mine comprises two deposits, Lake Way and Centipede, and will process 1.3 million tonnes per annum.