First Uranium narrows loss

[] — FIRST Uranium reported a narrower pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter and said that production at its Ezulwini mine in South Africa in the first quarter is expected to be lower than the average quarterly production for fiscal 2012.

The company said it still remained under pressure due to the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan and the events at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“While there has been a level of recovery for most uranium operators, we remain under pressure,” CEO Deon van der Mescht said in a statement.

“This is ironic when one considers that First Uranium is largely a gold producer, having only recently recommenced uranium production at the Ezulwini mine.”

The Toronto-based miner still expects gold production of 105,000oz to 125,000oz and uranium sales of 110,000 pounds to130,000 pounds in fiscal 2012.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of $18m, compared with a pre-tax loss of $31m, a year ago.

Revenue for the company, which owns Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery facility and the Ezulwini mine, rose 48% to $43m.