Itochu eyes uranium growth; buys 15 per cent stake in Kalahari

Japan's Itochu Corporation has agreed to acquire a 15-per cent share of Kalahari Minerals Plc, one of the biggest uranium traders in the world, through Nippon Uranium Resources (Australia) Pty Ltd., a wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, the reported on Saturday.

This will catapult Itochu to the position of top shareholder in Kalahari, which will give it access to management decisions.

Kalahari is the biggest shareholder (40 per cent) of Extract Resources Limited, which owns 100 per cent of the Rossing South uranium deposit in Husab, Namibia.

Minig major Rio Tinto also has a sizeable stake in Extract both directly with a 14.72 per cent stake and indirectly through a 13.48 per cent stake in Kalahari.

Rossing South is positioned to become one of the world class uranium mines in the world, and is currently under a feasibility study for first production in 2013.

Uranium demand is expected to increase due to the necessity of greenhouse gas emission reduction and the expansion of global nuclear power generation.