Miner plans $10M float

SYDNEY - Canadian miner Laramide is planning a $10.2m float on the Australian stock market as it prepares to develop its Westmoreland uranium deposit in North West Queensland.

The miner, which is already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has its flagship Westmoreland project in the Gulf.

It also has two developments in the United States.

Laramide hopes to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in March and has already lodged a prospectus with the corporate watchdog.

It plans to issue between 10 and 12 million CHESS depository receipts at 85 cents each, raising $8.5-$10 million.

Each of the receipts will be exchangeable for one common Laramide share.

The move to list in Australia comes three months after the Queensland government lifted a long-standing ban on uranium mining.

Queensland has about $10 billion worth of known uranium deposits, of which more than $8 billion lie in north-west Queensland.

Laramide plans to use cash raised from its Australian stock market float to carry out more exploration projects at Westmoreland, which is one of the 10 largest uranium deposits in Australia.

It also plans to complete an economic assessment of the deposit and begin other uranium exploration projects in the Northern Territory with its joint venture partner Rio Tinto.

"With the company's flagship Westmoreland project and recent Murphy farm-in/joint venture with Rio Tinto, both located in Australia, the ASX listing provides Laramide increased exposure and access to new investors and capital in these important regions," chief executive Marc Henderson said in a statement.

"In addition, the timing is ideal to further enhance the profile of Westmoreland, coinciding with the announcement from the Queensland government that uranium mining will be recommencing in the state."

Laramide bought the lease for the Westmoreland deposit, which stretches over 993 square kms, in 2004 for $US150,000.

It is estimated that there is 51.9 million pounds of uranium within the Westmoreland deposit.

Laramide plans to develop an open cut uranium mine on the site and produce more than three million pounds of uranium a year.

It expects the mine would have a life of 11 years, with the potential to rise to 15 years.

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