Areva looks for stake in Australian uranium mine

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

SYDNEY, Feb 25 (AFP) - Shares in WMC Resources rose Friday after a report that the French nuclear giant Ariva was considering an offer that could derail Xstrata's hostile takeover bid for the Australian company.

SYDNEY, Feb 25 (AFP) - Shares in WMC Resources rose Friday after a report that the French nuclear giant Ariva was considering an offer that could derail Xstrata's hostile takeover bid for the Australian company.

French financial daily Les Echos reported that Areva, the world's largest nuclear engineering group, is considering a bid for a stake in WMC's Olympic Dam project, the world's largest uranium deposit.

Without citing sources, the newspaper reported that Areva intends to offer more than EUR 1 billion (USD 1.32 billion) for a stake in Olympic Dam.

Les Echos said Olympic Dam, which also produces copper, is valued at EUR 2.9 to 3.2 billion. It said Areva could either buy the uranium deposit or make a bid for a stake in the entire mine.

WMC called for companies interested in buying a stake of Olympic Dam to come forward last month as it attempts to fend of an AUD 8.4 billion (EUR 5 billion) bid from Xstrata.

An Areva subsidiary, Cogema Australia, already owns rights over a uranium deposit in the Northern Territory but mining on the site has been suspended because it lies in a world heritage-listed park and is close to Aboriginal sacred sites.

WMC shares were up AUD 0.09 to AUD 7.53 (EUR 4.46) in afternoon trading on an Australian market that was up slightly.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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