TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 8, 2010) - Mega Uranium Ltd. (TSX:MGA) ("Mega") is pleased to report new additions to its Australian management team and an update on the development of its Lake Maitland Project in Western Australia.
MEGA STRENGTHENS ITS AUSTRALIAN MANAGEMENT TEAM.
Mr. Richard Homsany, B.Comm., LL.B (Hons), ASA, F Fin, will join Mega in the role of Executive Vice President, Australia. Mr. Homsany brings to Mega a wealth of experience in the resources industry including working for North Ltd, which was acquired by Rio Tinto Ltd in 2001. He also has considerable board experience with publicly listed resource companies in Australia. In his recent role as a Corporate Partner at the international law firm of DLA Philips Fox, one of Australia's leading law firms, he focused on the Energy & Resources sector including advising clients on capital raisings, mergers & acquisitions, finance, joint ventures, divestments and corporate governance. Mr. Homsany was an integral part of Mega's successful negotiations with the Japan Australia Uranium Resources Development Company Ltd ("JAURD") (through its subsidiary JAURD International Lake Maitland Project Pty Ltd) and ITOCHU Corporation ("ITOCHU") (through its subsidiary ITOCHU Minerals & Energy of Australia Pty Ltd) relating to the sale of a 35% interest in Mega's Lake Maitland Uranium Project ("the Project"). In his new position with Mega, Mr. Homsany will be responsible for directing Mega's Australian corporate operations and will lead the team that is developing Mega's strategy as it moves to become a uranium producer at Lake Maitland. Mr. Homsany brings to the role a detailed knowledge of the Project, as he was the Chairman of the then ASX-listed Redport Ltd., which owned the Project prior to its acquisition by Mega in 2006.
Mega is also pleased to report that Mr. Robin Jones, B.Sc. Mech Eng., has been appointed Project Director - Lake Maitland with responsibility for the management of the Project to production. Mr. Jones has 19 years experience in the mining industry in South Africa, China and Australia, with a focus over the last ten years on mine feasibility and development. His previous roles include Technical Manager of Acquarius Platinum's Kroondal Platinum Mine in South Africa and Project Manager of CopperCo Ltd's Lady Annie Copper Project in Australia.
Concurrent with these two appointments, Mega is pleased to announce that Mr. Peter McNally has been appointed Vice President, External Affairs. In this role Mr. McNally will focus on working with local, state and Commonwealth governments, and Mega's external partners, in advancing the Lake Maitland Project to production.
LAKE MAITLAND URANIUM PROJECT UPDATE
Mega is pleased to announce that it has received advice from the Western Australian Government finalising the level of environmental assessment and the environmental approvals process for the Project.
The Project will be assessed as an Environmental Review and Management Programme ("ERMP"), which is the highest level of assessment in Western Australia. The public review period for the ERMP has been extended from 10 to 14 weeks, which is consistent with the review period for the other uranium projects in close proximity to Lake Maitland.
Corresponding to the established environmental approvals process, Mega has commenced the next stage with the submission of the first draft of the Environmental Scoping Document ("ESD") to the Environmental Protection Authority ("EPA"). The ESD, which is expected to be released for public review in July 2010, determines the content of the ERMP.
Mega plans to have the first draft of the ERMP ready for submission to the EPA for review towards the end of 2010, with the expected release for public review in mid 2011.
The Federal Government had previously advised Mega that the Project is a "nuclear action" requiring assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and that it will be dealt with under the bi-lateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the Western Australian Government.
Mega commenced the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Project in October 2009 with the appointment of key consultants and engineers to progress the necessary social, environmental, technical and economic studies for the DFS and the preparation of the ERMP. The consultants and engineers include:
- Golder Associates – Lead Consultant
- Independent Metallurgical Operations – Metallurgical Testwork and Process Design
- Intech Engineers – Engineering Design and Infrastructure
- Outback Ecology Services – Environmental Studies
- Aquaterra – Hydrogeology
In December 2009 Mega significantly progressed the DFS by undertaking a trenching program with the primary objective of obtaining bulk samples for metallurgical testwork. The 10-trench program also allowed validation of the geological interpretation, groundwater testing, and assessments of equipment and materials handling.
Metallurgical testwork of bulk samples is now underway at a number of specialist test facilities in Perth, focusing on resource variability analysis, unit operation optimisation and equipment selection. The program is expected to be completed in September 2010.
In parallel with the metallurgical testwork, the DFS engineering and infrastructure design components have commenced, with target completion of the DFS in November 2010. Subject to the receipt of positive results from the DFS, the receipt of all required permits and approvals, and the securing of necessary capital, construction of the mine and processing facility is targeted to commence in 2012, with the initial uranium production scheduled for mid 2013. The previously planned production date of 2012 has had to be extended primarily as a result of the time necessary to assess the various infrastructure options and longer than expected lead times in obtaining governmental approvals.
Mega plans to apply to the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (WA DMP) to undertake an Evaluation Test Pit program during the year to enable further evaluation of mining methods, tailings storage options and associated groundwater aspects.
Further enhancing the Project's progress to development, the WA DMP granted Mega a Miscellaneous Licence to search for groundwater over areas adjacent to the Project site. An airborne magnetic survey, which has been completed over known target areas, will enable Mega to plan and conduct a water exploration drill program in the coming months.
Mega proposes to establish processing and tailings disposal facilities at the Lake Maitland site. As a result, Mega will undertake a planned 43 hole (1300 meter) sterilization drilling programme in April 2010 over the proposed locations for these facilities. Mega will continue to explore the use of neighbouring infrastructure.
Cultural Heritage and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA)
Ethnographic, archaeological and non-indigenous heritage surveys of the Project area have found no sites of significance that would delay development.
General consultations with the indigenous and non-indigenous community, including local, state and federal government, have commenced and Mega recently conducted a scoping survey to ascertain the skills, employment interests, perspectives and concerns about uranium from indigenous people who reside close to the Project area.
The socio-economic impact assessment is underway with the first stage of baseline data collection complete. Consultation with various stakeholders is on-going, will continue as the Project progresses and will be followed by the mitigation planning phase and the SEIA report, which will be provided to stakeholders for comment.
ABOUT MEGA URANIUM
Mega Uranium Ltd. is a Toronto-based mineral resources company with interests in uranium properties in Australia, Canada and Cameroon. Further information on Mega can be found on the company's website at www.megauranium.com. Mega Uranium's Ben Lomond and Maureen uranium resources are subject to a Queensland State Government policy that presently prohibits the mining of uranium.
NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain information contained in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information", which is information regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based upon assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. All information other than matters of historical fact may be forward-looking information. In some cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "seek", "expect", "anticipate", "budget", "plan", "estimate", "continue", "forecast", "intend", "believe", "predict", "potential", "target", "may", "could", "would", "might", "will" and similar words or phrases (including negative variations) suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information in this press release includes, but is not limited to, statements about our plans regarding future acquisitions and property development, our expectations regarding the uranium market, global growth and the use of nuclear power, our drill results, commodity prices and core intersection lengths, in that they constitute estimates, based on certain assumptions of mineralization that may be encountered if a deposit were to be mined.
By its nature, forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Some of the risks and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information contained in this release include, but are not limited to: risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits and conclusions of economic evaluations; results of initial feasibility, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, and the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; risks relating to possible variations in reserves, grade, planned mining dilution and ore loss, or recovery rates and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; mining and development risks, including risks related to accidents, equipment breakdowns, labour disputes (including work stoppages and strikes) or other unanticipated difficulties with or interruptions in exploration and development; the potential for delays in exploration or development activities or the completion of feasibility studies; risks related to the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses; risks related to commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; the uncertainty of profitability based upon the cyclical nature of the industry in which the Company operates; risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms or delays in obtaining governmental approvals or in the completion of development or construction activities; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business strategy.
Although we have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking information, readers are cautioned that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other factors that we have not identified. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information contained in this release. Forward-looking information is based upon our beliefs, estimates and opinions as at the date of this release, which we believe are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these will prove to be correct. Furthermore, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking information if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as otherwise required by applicable law.
All forward-looking information contained in this release is expressly qualified by this cautionary note.
NOTE REGARDING DISCLOSURE FOR MINERAL PROJECTS
This press release contains disclosure regarding our mineral resources. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral resources may never be converted into reserves. Furthermore, inferred resources are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Further exploration will be required to upgrade the inferred resources to a higher resource category.