BHP Billiton to sell Yeelirrie uranium deposit to Cameco for $430 mn

BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's largest miner,today said that it will sell its undeveloped Yeelirrie uranium deposit in Australia to Canada's Cameco Corp for $430 million.

The Yeelirrie uranium deposit located in the Northern Goldfields region of Western Australia, came into BHP Billiton's portfolio with its 2005 acquisition of Western Mining Corporation.

The move comes just a week after the Melbourne-based company scrapped a $30-billion plan to expand its Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia due to escalation in construction costs and a depressed global commodities market.

Yeelirrie, one of Australia's largest undeveloped uranium deposits, was discovered by Western Mining in 1972. The deposit   is located about 750km South of Cameco's Kintyre exploration project.

A historic estimate of the mineral content of Yeelirrie was prepared for BHP Billiton in June 2012 by an international mining consulting firm, which estimated that Yeelirrie hosts measured and indicated mineral resources of approximately 139 million pounds of U3O8, with an average grade of approximately 0.13 per cent U3O8 and inferred resource of approximately 5 million pounds at 0.10 per cent U3O8.

This estimate employs resource categories from the Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code) and not the National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.