Paladin Energy Ltd

Paladin Energy Ltd

December 08, 2009 08:29 ET

Paladin Energy Ltd: Kayelekera Mine Unaffected by Malawi Earthquakes

PERTH,WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2009) - Paladin Energy Ltd ("Paladin" or "the Company") (TSX:PDN)(ASX:PDN) advises that a series of earthquakes and after-shocks that strucknorthern Malawi during the past three days had no material impact on theoperations of the Kayelekera Mine. The ramp-up of production atKayelekera Mine continues on schedule and, despite the earthquakes, the plantyesterday achieved its best ore milling rate to-date, processing at the rate ofsome 114 tonnes/hour, for a throughput of 2,634 tonnes in the 24 hour periodand is on track to achieving its nameplate capacity of 190 tonnes/hour in theMarch 2010 quarter. 

A series of six earthquakes measuring Magnitude 5 or more on theRichter Scale and numerous after-tremors have hit the northern Malawi regionsince Sunday morning, the most severe being measured at Magnitude 5.9, whichoccurred at 5.08am local time today. The first earthquake on Sunday evening,which measured Magnitude 5.8, tripped out agitators on all six of Kayelekera'sleach tanks as designed, and these were safety checked and brought back on-linewithin three hours. The semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill was also stoppedfor safety checking and then brought back on-line. The same routine wasfollowed after this morning's tremor, although the downtime was less than onehour.

The Kayelekera Tailings Storage Facility and water storage pondshave not suffered any damage. All ponds and slopes around the Kayelekera Minesite have been inspected by both Paladin Africa officials and the Company'senvironmental consultant and have maintained their integrity, with no visiblemovement being detected anywhere.

In the town of Karonga, located some 52km by road east of theKayelekera Mine, the Company's Social Development team is consulting with localGovernment of Malawi officials to assess what humanitarian assistance may beneeded to aid the people of Karonga. One fatality and several serious injurieshave been reported in Karonga, plus widespread structural damage to localbuildings.

A.C.N. 061 681 098

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