Nalco Shoots for African Uranium

After failing to acquire the copper mine in Namibia with Hindustan Copper, Indian company Nalco, Asia's largest, and one of the world's leading aluminium companies, has now decided to shoot for uranium assets in the African country.

The owner of the Namibian copper mine Weatherly International, decided to withdraw the offer halfway through the due diligence process said a top Nalco official.

He also said that the company suffered a setback in Namibia while examining the prospects of a copper mine, but now the company is looking forward to acquiring uranium reserves in Namibia. This is a consequence of India and Namibia signing an agreement to work together to explore mineral resources such as gold, diamond and uranium last year.

Nalco and HCL together had done a survey of some mines including Otjihase mine near Windhoek, the Namibian capital. Weatherly International suspended the mine operations in 2008 September thanks to the global recession. A 51% stake in Weatherly’s Namibian operations was to be sold to East China Mineral Exploration, but the Chinese did not follow it up.

This gave the team of HCL and Nalco an opportunity to get the mine allotted to them. However last month Weatherly International said that it had managed to secure enough funds to restart mining operations within six months. This threw the deal with Nalco and HCL out of kilter.

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