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Paladin is getting crushed after no buyer found for Namibian mine

Uranium market is going through a dry spell

Paladin Energy (TSE:PDN) was hammered down more than 20% on Friday on huge volumes after the company announced it could not find a buyer for a stake in its Namibian uranium mine.

The Australia-based firm said it broke off talks for the sale of a minority interest in the Langer Heinrich mine, located in the Namib Desert because the offer price would not reflect the “strategic value” of its flagship mine given the weakness in the spot uranium price, currently hovering around the mid $30s a pound.

Paladin subsequently announced it is tapping markets for $75 million by placing up to 15% of its issued shares with institutions through bookbuilding.

The money should see it through to the September quarter of next year “even in the event that the spot uranium price was to remain at the average level of the past 12 months of US$42.50/lb.”

The company also announced sales for the full year 2013 of a record 8.2 million pounds of U3O8, a 23% increase on the year before with revenue of $408 million, a 14% increase.

Paladin is also taking an impairment charge of roughly $180 million relating to its Kayelekera mine in northern Malawi and the Niger exploration portfolio.

By mid-afternoon Paladin was trading down 19.5% at $0.74 on the Toronto stock exchange after earlier falling to $0.65 giving it a market value of $770 million. 4.9 million shares changed hands compared to a daily average of 760,000.