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Toro Energy: The Next Australian Uranium Producer?

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) has affirmed that it continues to receive interest from potential financing and offtake partners for the Wiluna Project.

One major group is undertaking a site visit for technical review of the Project.

Phase 1 of the Definitive Feasibility Study for the Wiluna Uranium Project was completed during the quarter.

Capital and operating cost updates are underway and will be announced to the market when complete.

Toro is targeting an initial uranium resource statement on Theseus Project in December quarter.

Project approvals

During the quarter, Toro gained environmental approval for the Wiluna Uranium Project and a prime focus for the company. This was a necessary precursor to the financing of the Project.

The company said it "now awaits the Federal Government environmental decision on the Project, anticipated prior to calendar year end."

Site visit

A site visit to the Project area was undertaken by a major U.S. nuclear energy corporation as part of their Australian
uranium operations tour.

The purpose of the visit was to familiarise themselves with the Project as a potential supplier of uranium concentrates should approvals and financing of the project allow it to proceed.

Wiluna Project has now developed a confidential dataroom for the Project, to enable interested potential project partners to access information under confidentiality.

The first potential partner's technical assessment was recently completed with a visit to Toro's Wiluna Project site and Project office in Perth over an extended period.

Global Uranium Market

The spot price for uranium at the end of the September quarter was US$46.50/lb U3O8. However, the long term price remains at US$60 to $61/lb U3O8.

Toro expects the short term market softness to continue, longer term interest is increasing, with China planning the re-start of nuclear approvals.

China is now seeking to steadily resume approval and construction of new nuclear power plants and is planning to approve a small number of new nuclear power projects by 2015.

Other positives to note: Japan is also refusing to rule out nuclear for future power generation; the Queensland Government changing its uranium mining policy, and the Indian - Australian Government bi-lateral talks on a safeguards agreement are commencing.

Cash balance

Cash held at the end of the September 2012 quarter was a healthy $7.5 million.

Reflecting the milestones reached by Toro at the 54 million pound Wiluna uranium project and EPA positive recommendation, the Toro Energy share price has vaulted from $0.083 in early October to recent high or $0.135.

As a pointer the future, Toro Energy is likely to be the next Australian uranium producer - one of few new projects in world capable of production in 2014-15. There is one or two other possible contenders for this title, but there remain more question marks.