Cameco's reputation as an industry leader and expertise in mining and exploration make us an attractive partner for uranium ventures around the world. We lever this position by entering into strategic alliances and joint ventures with other companies that hold high-quality exploration and development projects. Our strategic alliances typically involve investments in publicly listed or private companies with promising exploration lands. In return for these investments, Cameco seeks to obtain rights to expand its ownership to control development of resulting discoveries. Through strategic alliances and joint ventures we greatly expand the potential return of our investment in uranium exploration and the geographical reach of our technical and financial resources.
Junior Exploration Companies
Cameco owns significant interests in the following junior exploration companies:
Cameco has a 21.4% interest in UEX, a TSX-listed junior exploration company formed in 2002 from a combination of exploration assets previously held by Cameco and Pioneer Metals Corporation. Cameco has, as long as it maintains a 20% or higher interest in UEX, certain rights related to financing and marketing production from future uranium deposits. This minimum 20% ownership level also provides Cameco with the right to mill uranium produced from properties it contributed to UEX at the time of its formation in 2002.
MINERGIA SAC (MINERGIA)
Cameco has the right to earn a 50% ownership interest in MINERGIA, a private company jointly owned by Cameco and Vena Resources, established to explore and develop Vena's uranium assets in Peru. Cameco has the option to invest $10 million over the next four years in two stage payments to obtain its 50% interest. Cameco can increase its stake in MINERGIA to 60% when a feasibility study is completed and to 70% when mine development commences.
In August 2008, Cameco formed a strategic alliance, focused on uranium exploration in Niger, with GoviEx Uranium Inc. (GoviEx), formerly Govi High Power Exploration Inc. We hold an approximate 11% interest in the company. Cameco obtained certain rights to make additional investments under the terms of the strategic alliance agreement, which rights have now expired. However, as a partner in the alliance, we continue to assess the value and potential of our investment. GoviEx holds about 2,300 square kilometres of exploration property in the region around Arlit, Niger, which has been extensively explored since the 1960s. The company also holds about 2,400 square kilometres near Agadez, Niger in the early stages of exploration.
Float planes are often the...
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