Berkeley Energia said it has received a significant stakeholder support and funding package of up to USD120m had brought the Salamanca mine one step closer to being the only major uranium mine in construction in the world today.
It said: ‘The benefits the investment is bringing to a region suffering some of the highest unemployment in the EU have been welcomed by both the Spanish media and the regional government.
‘Local residents are being prioritised for training and jobs, with many residents of the nearby villages already working for the company.’
– Berkeley Energia signs US$120 million sovereign wealth fund strategic investment to fully fund the Salamanca mine into production. The investment:
* Positions the sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman as a long term strategic investor in the company
* Gives SGRF the right to appoint a non-executive director to the board
* Gives SGRF the right to match future long-term uranium offtake contracts on the same commercial terms subject to certain limitations on volume
– Strong support from key stakeholders:
* Berkeley has been praised by Spanish media and regional government for its investment in the region and the employment it is generating
* Local media highlighted that ‘con Berkeley va a acabar el desempleo en la provincia de Salamanca’ (unemployment will disappear in the province of Salamanca thanks to Berkeley)
* To date, the Company has received job applications from over 25% of residents in the neighbouring villages, highlighting the strong support locally for the employment the Company is generating
– Works on site continue to progress:
* Early works, such as the fencing of the project, are being completed by locally hired employees, demonstrating the Company’s commitment to preferentially recruiting from the local area
* The Company is finalising negotiations over the Mining Contract, Insurance Contract and Initial EPC Contracts, with announcements of awards in due course
* The land acquisition process is almost complete, with a further 25 hectares acquired over the quarter, bringing the total to more than 625 hectares
Managing director Paul Atherley said: ‘”We are delighted to welcome Oman’s sovereign wealth fund as a long-term strategic investor in the Company and look forward to working closely with them to realise the full potential of the Salamanca mine.
‘With an agreement signed to fully finance the Salamanca mine to first production we are focused on continuing the progress made with the construction phase. Key equipment was delivered earlier this summer and we are continuing to add to our team on site, recruiting heavily from the local area.
‘Creating badly needed jobs is extremely important to us and we will continue to run training courses, equipping local residents with the skills needed for the 450 long term jobs the project is creating.
‘We have commenced recruitment and are prioritising jobs for local residents.
‘We are delighted to have received applications from over 110 of the 400 permanent residents of the nearby village of Villavieja, which reflects the strength of the local support for the investment. We plan to have employed over 80 residents by next year.
‘It’s fantastic to have such strong support for our project among our key stakeholders in Spain, which reflects the growing awareness of the benefits the investment is bringing to the community.’