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General Atomics seeks control of Australian mine

Following a precipitous drop in worldwide uranium prices as countries across the globe reconsider the promise of nuclear energy, San Diego's General Atomics is seeking to gain full ownership of an Australian mine in which it already holds a three-quarters stake.

Prices for the resource, most commonly used as a reactor fuel, have been depressed since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. Recent plant closings across the United States and Europe, including that of the local San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, have also contributed to a lack of demand.

The Four Mile uranium mine in South Australia is held in part by Alliance Resources and Quasar Resources — the latter is a subsidiary of General Atomics, which also owns a nearby mine known as Beverly.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday (July 2) that Quasar had upped its bid for Alliance's stake in the mine from $57.6 million to $71.3 million, following a rejection of the previous proposal.

The deal would include Alliance's stake in already-mined uranium, which has been a point of contention in ongoing legal battles between the companies, as Quasar has reportedly refused to make the materials available for sale during the takeover bid process.

General Atomics' nearby Beverly mine has been mothballed since early 2014 in reaction to falling uranium prices, though its processing facility remains open to handle materials extracted from Four Mile.

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