Daniel Major is probably thinking the stars are beginning to align after Cameco extended shut-downs at two of its U3O8 operations in mid-2018 for an indefinite period, and Kazatomprom reiterated its interest in value-over-volume mining, the upshot of which is a stirring in the uranium price. This is exactly what Goviex was waiting for, especially as it has first mover advantage on its side. Its $359m Madaouela project in Niger took a mere six months to permit versus the minimum seven years it’s historically taken Canadian authorities to do the same thing. As a result, Goviex is setting about the big question of funding. One benefit of African exposure is the presence of ready and willing export credit agencies, but Major is also heartened by past interest in funding African-based ventures: three of the largest takeover deals in the last cycle were in Africa ranging from $1.2bn to $2.4bn. Longer-term, the expectation is that 30 million pounds of U3O8 will leave the market. And on the demand side, the fact that the World Uranium Council is getting more airplay at the United Nations on energy policy is a positive. Last year was a case of treading water for Goviex, founded by Robert Friedland’s son Govind. The company removed debt paying Toshiba $4.5m in bonds. It also set about assessing the viability of membrane separation technology for exploitation of Madaouela. The company also has prospects at Mutanga in Zambia, but it is the proposed 2.69 million lb/year operation at Madaouela that takes prominence at the moment.
“Niger’s government is very pragmatic. Nearly 60% of exports are in uranium.”
LIFE OF DANIEL
Major graduated from the Cambourne School of Mines. His experience of uranium mining is extensive having worked at Rio Tinto’s Rössing 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 also was CEO and chairman of Basic Element Mining & Resource Division in Russia.
- Web Address: www.goviex.com