Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Daniel Major

Daniel Major


TORONTO-listed Goviex is a uranium exploration firm operating principally in Niger and Zambia. Its investment case is that the uranium price is currently so low that replacement pounds (lbs) of so-called ‘yellowcake’ –expressed as U3O8 – are not being incentivised. The troublesome and lengthy permitting required for uranium mining also means existing suppliers won’t be able to respond quickly enough when the supply deficit materialises, which Major reckons will be around 2022. Consequently, Goviex is working like the clappers to get its uranium prospects – Madaouela in Niger and Mutanga in Zambia – financed, and built with offtake agreements completed somewhere in between. Major racked up decent progress last year. Both mines are permitted, to which African Energy’s Chirundu and Kariba prospects in Zambia were added in October by means of a shares/warrants-for-assets deal. Before that, some $200m worth of interest was enlisted from export credit agencies and project banks. Then in December, Goviex raised C$5.4m in a private placement. The cash will go (partly) towards more drilling. Madaouela is expected to be a 2.69m lb/year operation. At Mutanga, a preliminary economic assessment in November scoped a 2.4m lb yellowcake operation at a capital cost of C$123m. Goviex was founded in 2007 by Govind Friedland – son of Robert – and is well supported with Cameco, Dennison Mines and Toshiba Corp. owner of Westinghouse, among its shareholders.


Major graduated from the Camborne School of Mines. His experience of uranium mining is extensive having worked at Rio Tinto’s Rossing Uranium in Namibia. He went into sell-side analysis at HSBC and JP Morgan Cazenove before returning to the industry to lead a number of Canadian junior mining firms. He was also CEO and chairman of Basic Element Mining & Resource Division in Russia.