June 24, 2009 / 2:19 PM / 10 years ago

INTERVIEW-West Australian Metals says held talks with Areva

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - West Australian Metals Ltd WME.AX said on Wednesday that Areva CEPFi.PA is interested in its key uranium project in Namibia and that it has held “a couple of discussions” with the world’s biggest nuclear power company.

West Australian Chief Executive John Young told Reuters Areva would probably be keen to expand its presence in the uranium-rich southern African country given the extent of the French company’s Namibian investments.

West Australian’s major asset is the Marenica uranium project, immediately north of Areva’s large Trekkopje mine, which the French state-owned company acquired when it bought UraMin in 2007 for $2.5 billion.

“They are interested in our project,” Young said in an interview, without specifying the nature of their discussions. He noted, however, that Areva are spending over $1 billion to develop the neighbouring Trekkopje project.

“It’s a lot of capital going into a project with a 14-year mine life. They will be looking for additional resources,” he said.

Reporting by Julie Crust; editing by Paul Hoskins

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