TORONTO and JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) (ISIN:CA33744R1029) ("First Uranium" or "the Company") reports, that contrary to a recent report in the South African media, gold production and construction of future gold and uranium plant modules continue unabated at the Company's Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery operation ("MWS") in South Africa. The Company has, however, temporarily suspended its work in preparation of the site for a new Tailings Storage Facility ("TSF"), which is designed to accommodate future tailings deposition capacity requirements.
After granting an authorization to proceed with the new TSF, regulators have withdrawn that authorization pending further discussions with the Company. First Uranium takes seriously the near-term issues facing the Company regarding environmental authorization of its TSF. The Company continues to act in accordance with widely accepted mining practices in the regulators' jurisdiction and is optimistic that the withdrawal will be lifted. Having the approval to proceed with a new tailings deposition site is vital to ensuring the significant economic benefit for the region that is expected to stem from MWS and to the future stability of approximately 5,000 jobs at MWS and neighbouring companies.
This new TSF has been designed to significantly reduce the environment
impact of mining in the area and to improve the site's visual appeal as the
new TSF is planned to have:
- a more environmentally benign impact than the existing tailings sites
as a significant amount of certain metals and minerals present in the
existing tailings, such as uranium, pyrite and sulphur are to be
removed during re-processing of these tailings;
- reduced risk of erosion as the side slopes that will be built at a
lower gradient and gradually vegetated as the facility is built;
- contours that will be more rounded to blend with the surrounding
- systems that will recycle and reuse the water used to transport the
tailings to the new site wherever possible; and
- been built on impermeable soils, unlike the porous dolomites which
host much of the historical tailings.
The older tailings deposits, that the TSF is replacing, are to be rehabilitated once the tailings from each such deposit are reprocessed.
While the Company engages in appropriate discussions with public officials to address any and all queries that have arisen regarding the TSF, First Uranium continues to remain focused on its operations at both MWS and the Ezulwini Mine.
"First Uranium remains confident that this interruption in the development of the TSF will not diminish the Company's ability to execute its mine plans at both of its gold and uranium assets," explained Gordon Miller, President and CEO of First Uranium. "As with the development of all mines, there are operational issues to overcome. However, we anticipate that this development with the new tailings storage facility will, in hindsight, be characterized as one example in a series of challenges that, once overcome, have brought two exceptional assets into full, long-life production."
About First Uranium Corporation
First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) is focused on its goal of becoming a significant low-cost producer of uranium and gold through the expansion of the underground development to feed the new uranium and gold plants at the Ezulwini Mine and through the expansion of the plant capacity of the Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery facility, both operations situated in South Africa. First Uranium also plans to grow production by pursuing value-enhancing acquisition and joint venture opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere.
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains and refers to forward-looking information based on current expectations. All other statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release including, without limitation, statements regarding the timing and amount of estimated future production, processing and development plans and future plans and objectives of First Uranium are forward-looking statements (or forward-looking information) that involve various estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. For more details on these estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties, see the Company's most recent Annual Information Form on file with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements that are included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE First Uranium Corporation
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