Australian M&A for African Uranium AssetsIt has been a very busy month for Australian uranium mining interests in Africa, with Paladin Energy (TSE: PDN) taking a holding interest in NGM Resources (ASX: NGM). The market has reacted positively the news sending the share prices for Paladin 20 percent higher for the month of October to the current range of $4.39. Paladin Energy operates the Langer Heinrich Mine, located in the Namib Desert, approximately 80 km east of the major seaport of Walvis Bay and about 40 km south-east of the large-scale, hard-rock Rössing uranium mine operated by the Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP). Last week, Rossing Uranium Limited found news headlines as the Rio subsidiary is currently in consultation with the Government of Namibia to find a solution to deal with U.N. Resolution requirements announced in June. A question remains for one of the world's largest open-pit uranium mines on whether previously held Iranian stakes in uranium mines or other nuclear-related operations should be divested. Iran Threatens Against Sanctions On Tuesday, Iran warned European countries that the country might retaliate in kind for their denial of fuel to Iranian aircraft because of U.S. sanctions. Iran has been hit by a new wave of international sanctions over its uranium enrichment activities. "We have given the necessary warnings and if the current situation is not corrected in some European capitals, they will be faced by a reciprocal action from Iran," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said. The U.S. legislation would punish any company worldwide that exports gasoline or other refined petroleum products to Iran. Iran has meanwhile started to fully load fuel into its only nuclear reactor, after a leak in the Russian-built reactor's basin delayed the process for months. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said that tests had been run and that it has started to load 163 fuel rods into the reactor's core, bringing the country closer to its goal of becoming a user of nuclear energy. Iranian officials held a ceremony for fuel loading in August, but the process was repeated this week.
Russia is supplying the uranium fuel for the plant for 10 years, at an enrichment level well below what is needed for a nuclear weapon. The 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant is expected to start generating electricity in about three months, more than 35 years after the start of construction. The loading of fuel at the Bushehr reactor is overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEA).With help from Assistant Editor Vivien Diniz Uranium Demand to Create Upside Pressure on Prices from Uranium Investing News