September 1, 2008
First Uranium Enters into Exclusive Agency Agreement With Traxys to Market and Contract Future Uranium Production
TORONTO and JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) (ISIN:CA33744R1029) ("First Uranium" or "the Company") today announced that an exclusive agency agreement has been entered into with the Traxys Group, a global metals, minerals and energy marketing company. As per the agreement, Traxys will market, on an exclusive basis, all of the uranium production from First Uranium's underground Ezulwini Mine and its tailings re-treatment operation at Mine Waste Solutions ("MWS"), except for any uranium that might in future be sold to fulfill South Africa's requirements.
"While our production ramps up, we have agreed to work with Traxys to enter into market-related transactions for short-term delivery at or near uranium spot prices," said Gordon Miller, President and CEO of First Uranium. "Following on from our initial spot sales contract, Traxys will help us enter into long-term contracts with utilities and build a balanced portfolio of sales contracts while maintaining up-side exposure to the market."
At the same time, First Uranium is maintaining regular contact with South Africa's Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), the national power utility (Eskom) and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NESCA) to ascertain domestic uranium requirements to meet South Africa's national security of supply imperatives for its planned nuclear power plants.
First Uranium expects to begin producing yellowcake (ammonium diurinate or ADU) at the Ezulwini Mine in October 2008 and at MWS in early 2009. The Company expects to produce approximately 454,000 pounds of uranium in the current fiscal year, ramping up sharply to approximately 1.7 million pounds in the Company's fiscal year ending March 31, 2010. Over the currently planned 18-year life of its operations, the Company expects to produce an average of approximately 2.1 million pounds of uranium per annum.
"Our near-term objectives are focused upon expanding current gold production, while commissioning the uranium plants at both operations and delivering consistent operational cash flows," added Mr. Miller. "We remain on track to achieve our long-term objective to become a major low-cost uranium producer."
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to those with respect to the availability of electrical power, the planned addition of owner-operated power generation, price of electrical power and sulphuric acid, the estimation of mineral resources and reserves, expected dates of commissioning or commencement of production, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, costs and timing of development of new deposits, success of exploration activities, permitting time lines, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, availability of financing on acceptable terms, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage and the timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "goal", "objective", "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "estimates", "intends" or variations of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of First Uranium to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, availability of equipment, materials and fuel, possible variations in grade and ore densities or recovery rates, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes or other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining government approvals or financing or in completion of development or construction activities, risks relating to the integration of acquisitions, to international operations, to prices of uranium and gold, to price of electrical power and sulphuric acid. Although First Uranium has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. It is important to note, that: (i) unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements indicate the Company's expectations as of the date of this news release; (ii) actual results may differ materially from the Company's expectations if known and unknown risks or uncertainties affect its business, or if estimates or assumptions prove inaccurate; (iii) the Company cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and, accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements; and (iv) the Company disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.
In making the forward-looking statements in this news release, First Uranium has made several material assumptions, including but not limited to, the assumption that: (i) consistent supply of sufficient power will be available to develop and operate the projects as planned; (ii) approvals to transfer or grant, as the case may be, mining rights will be obtained; (iii)ÃÆÃÆÃ“Ã“ÃÆÃ“Ã“ metal prices, exchange rates and discount rates applied in the pre-feasibility study and preliminary economic assessment are achieved; (iv) mineral resource estimates are accurate; (v) the technology used to develop and operate its two projects has, for the most part, been proven and will work effectively; (vi) that labour and materials will be sufficiently plentiful as to not impede the projects or add significantly to the estimated cash costs of operations; (vii) that Black Economic Empowerment ("BEE") investors will maintain their interest in the Company and their investment in the Company's common shares to a sufficient level to continue to support the Company's compliance with 2014 BEE requirements; and (viii) that the innovative work on stabilizing the main shaft at the Ezulwini Mine will be successful in maintaining a safe and uninterrupted working environment until 2024.
About First Uranium Corporation
First Uranium Corporation (TSX:FIU, JSE:FUM) is focused on the development of its South African uranium and gold mines with the goal of becoming a significant low-cost producer through the re-opening and underground development of the Ezulwini Mine and the expansion of the Mine Waste Solutions tailings recovery facility. First Uranium also plans to grow production by pursuing value-enhancing acquisition and joint venture opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere.
First Uranium Corporation 1240-155 University Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M5H 3B7 http://www.firsturanium.com/
FIRST URANIUM CORPORATION
CONTACT: Bob Tait, VP Investor Relations, (416) 342-5639 (office), (416)558-3858 (mobile), [email protected]