Australian uranium market blessed

24 August 2005

An Anglican Church-controlled ethical investment fund has lifted its ban on investing in uranium mining.

Glebe Asset Management, which manages more than A$500 million ($377 million) for the Australian Anglican Church and other investors, made the decision after a three-month review of its charter and following the acquisition by BHP Billiton of WMC Resources.

In a statement Glebe said: “BHP Billiton’s acquisition of WMC led us to re-examine our thinking about uranium mining. We were aware that ethical and non-ethical investors alike were reviewing their attitudes about the uranium sector. Investor interest in uranium has surged on the back of conjecture about a new generation of nuclear power stations as the world seeks to deal with climate change and global warming effects associated with fossil fuels such as coal.”

Glebe would have otherwise been forced to sell its A$10 million ($7.5 million) holding in BHP Billiton, one of Australia's best performing stocks.

Meanwhile, Australian uranium exploration company Nova Energy has made a strong debut on the Australian Stock Exchange after shares rose to A$57 each ($43), well above the initial public offering (IPO) price of A$40 ($30).

The company raised A$6.24 million ($4.71 million) through the sale of 15.6 million shares under its IPO. The Perth-based explorer plans to use the money to acquire, explore, evaluate and exploit the Centipede and Lake Way uranium deposits, and other surrounding exploration tenements in the Wiluna region of Western Australia.

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