First Uranium slows or suspends expansion in South Africa in wake of lost environmental authorization

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - First Uranium Corp. (TSX:FIU) is slowing or suspending its various expansion plans in South Africa while it seeks alternative funding and negotiates with government officials who have withdrawn a key environmental authorization.
The Toronto-headquartered company says it's still hopeful that officials will reinstate environmental authorization for a new tailings storage facility for its Mine Waste Solutions operation.
In the meantime, however, First Uranium is taking a number of steps to deal with the financial impact of the unanticipated withdrawal, which the company says has disrupted some well-advanced plans for additional funding.
First Uranium says it has suspended construction and commissioning of a third gold plant, which had been due for completion in May.
In addition, production at iis Mine Waste Solutions operations will be reduced to one gold plant at the end of March, down from two.
The company estimates that its No. 5 Dam will have enough capacity to for tailings for the one gold plant until the end of 2011.
Tailings are a combination of waste rock and chemicals that are produced after ore is milled and the valuable metals or minerals are extracted.
First Uranium has also revised its production rampup for the Ezulwini Mine, produce both gold and uranium.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2010, First Uranium produced 10,054 ounces of gold from the Ezulwini Mine, a 26 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter, and 21,891 ounces of gold from the Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery project, a 63 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter
The mine also shipped its firt container of 23,760 pounds of uranium in the form of "yellowcake" for processing in the United States.
For the 2011 fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2010, First Uranium is projecting 133,000 ounces of gold and 207,000 pounds of uranium.
Fiscal 2012 is projected for 194,000 ounces of gold and 312,000 pounds of uranium while the following year's production is forecast for 265,000 ounces of gold and 390,000 pound of uranium.?

Organizations: First Uranium, TSX, Ezulwini Mine

Geographic location: South Africa, TORONTO, United States

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