Home / Health / Paladin Energy flags Langer Heinrich mine stake sale as debt looms

Paladin Energy flags Langer Heinrich mine stake sale as debt looms


Uranium miner Paladin Energy has flagged it will sell more of its family jewels in a bid to solve its debt challenge.

The miner said it had struck an agreement with an unnamed suitor to sell 24 per cent of its flagship Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia.

Paladin Energy looks set to sell a further stake in its flagship uranium mine
Paladin Energy looks set to sell a further stake in its flagship uranium mine
 Photo: Bloomberg

Langer Heinrich has been Paladin’s only operating mine since it closed Malawi’s Kayelekera mine in 2014 and, if completed, the sale will take Paladin’s stake in the mine down to 51 per cent.

The suitor is believed to be a Chinese nuclear power utility, and if so, it would be Paladin’s third deal with a Chinese company in the space of 30 months.

As recently as January 2014, Paladin owned 100 per cent of Langer Heinrich, but that month it sold a 25 per cent stake to China National Nuclear Corporation for $US190 million ($254 million).

Later that same year, it struck a subscription deal for Chinese-based private equity firm HOPU to become a substantial shareholder.

Paladin said the sale of the 24 per cent stake would yield $US175 million if successfully executed, and it expects the deal to close before the end of 2016.

The sales are necessary as Paladin tries to gather funds to repay a $US212 million convertible bond with is due to mature in April 2017.

A second convertible bond worth $US150 million is due for repayment in March 2020.

The company had $US59.2 million in cash at June 30, but with depressed uranium spot prices near $US27 per pound, Paladin is expected to post another loss for the 2016 financial year.

The miner hopes to generate a further $US10 million by selling 30 per cent of its Manyingee uranium deposit to MGT Resources near Exmouth in Western Australia.

MGT will then have an option to buy a further 45 per cent of the acreage for $US20 million.

Paladin shares were 1.8c lower at 22.2c in morning trade on Thursday.



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