Ezulwini gold and
uranium mine “’ Russian
group put in a bid
Moscow, Russia — 23 April 2012 – Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg’s Renova Group “’ the leading private business group in Russia “’ has made a joint bid with South Africa’s Waterpan Mining Consortium for a mine controlled by First Uranium Corporation (FIU), trumping an earlier offer.

Renova Transalloys (Pty) Limited director Konstantin Sadovnik said in an e-mail from here that his company and Waterpan had bid for the Ezulwini gold and uranium mine in South Africa. Chopper Van der Bijl, a director at closely-held Waterpan, has also confirmed the offer by e-mail. Both men declined to give details.

Bloomberg News reports that Mary Batoff, spokeswoman for Toronto-based First Uranium, didn’t immediately respond to telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

First Uranium said in March that Gold One International “’ a dual listed mid-tier mining group with gold operations and gold and uranium prospects across Southern Africa “’ would buy Ezulwini for US$70 million, while top African gold producer AngloGold Ashanti Limited would acquire its Mine Waste Solutions unit for US$335 million. First Uranium said at the time that it would not be able to pay the outstanding principal on about US$151 million of convertible debentures due on 30 June without the proceeds from these sales.

First Uranium is selling the assets too cheaply, a group of shareholders that own a combined 17% stake in the company, said last month. The group wants the company to consider the Renova offer and enter into negotiations, Nicholas Betsky, head of equities at Russia’s Olma Investment Firm, which is one of the shareholders, said in an interview.

Shares of First Uranium slumped 37% after the company reported lower first-quarter gold and uranium production. The stock has fallen 89% in the past year.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.