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Marenica Energy reports on significant development at Marenica Uranium Project

International uranium company Marenica Energy (ASX: MEY) has released a company update, following significant corporate developments over the Christmas period and the receipt of encouraging new exploration data from its 80%-owned Marenica Uranium Project in Namibia, Southern Africa.

During the afternoon trade, shares in Marenica increased 6.9%, or 1c, to 15.5c.

In late December 2009, the French-based multinational industrial and nuclear energy giant, Areva agreed to acquire a 10.57% interest in Marenica from Polo Resources PLC, on terms and conditions set out together with the Substantial Interest Notice (Form 603) lodged on 23 December 2009.

Areva, which is the world leader in the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining, conversion and enrichment through to spent fuel re-processing and re-cycling, has a majority interest in the Trekkopje Uranium Mine, which is located less than 30km from the Marenica Project.

The Trekkopje deposit is a shallow, high-tonnage, low-grade uranium deposit hosted by calcretised palaeo-channels. Full production at Trekkopje is anticipated to commence in 2011 with a forecast initial mine life of 12 years.

Areva’s Southern African subsidiary, AREVA Resources Namibia, has key infrastructure, including a desalination plant at Wlotzkasbaken, located approximately 30 km north of Swakopmund – a first for Southern Africa – that will supply sufficient water to support the mining operations at Trekkopje Mine, which lies approximately 40km inland into the desert.

Marenica has also advised that its resource consultants, SRK Consulting (SRK) Pty Ltd, are continuing to work on the Marenica Resource Estimate update due at the end of January. All probe data and QA/QC assay data have now been compiled, and the resource update is on track to be finalised and announced in late January/early February 2010.

The Company released a series of positive results from the Marenica Project prior to Christmas, including an interim Resource Estimate upgrade announced on 18 November of 122 million tonnes grading 140ppm U3O8, comprising an Indicated Resource of 16 million tonnes grading 170ppm U3O8 and an Inferred Resource of 106 million tonnes grading 140ppm U3O8.

Marenica is also pleased to report that 16 new priority exploration targets have been identified following the receipt of new airborne radiometric and magnetic data for the Marenica Project.

Preliminary interpretation of the data has been completed within an area of 340 square kilometres. Marenica’s exploration team in Namibia will begin ground checking and sampling of the anomalies in early 2010.

Work is continuing on final Marenica resource upgrade due in January 2010 following interim upgrade to 122Mt grading 140ppm U3O8 in November 2009

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company