Berkeley Energia said it had received “a number” of favourable assessments from various regulators, including the Nuclear Safety Council, for Salamanca. It is waiting for a recommendation report from the NSC to the relevant Spanish government minister, the company said in its latest quarterly report.
However, Berkeley did say the local municipality is still unable to grant an express resolution for awarding a licence due to some outstanding issues, which Berkeley is now looking at.
The uranium market remains strong, Berkeley said, with prices rising 4% over the three months to December the end the period at $28.50 per pound. Fundamentals “remain very strong”, it added.
In October 2018 Berkeley Energia chief executive Paul Atherley told investors that the company remained “firmly committed” to developing Salamanca, although he said continuing investment would depend upon the company receiving approvals to start construction.
The Salamanca mine is the biggest of its kind in Europe and the only major uranium mine in the world to start construction in recent years.
According to Berkeley Energia, which is headquartered in London and listed on the London stock exchange, Salamanca could produce 4.4 million pounds of uranium a year at its peak during its planned 14 years of operation, although the company is searching for more deposits and that lifetime could yet be extended.
First uranium production had been expected in the middle of 2019 following about 12 months of construction and six months of commissioning.