Japan's nuclear crisis kills Australian uranium deal
Shares in Australian uranium miner Mantra Resources Ltd plunged 29 per cent after Russia's JSC Atomredmetsoloto (ARMZ) withdrew its 1.1-billion-Australian-dollar (1-billion-US-dollar) takeover offer in the wake of Japan's nuclear power station crisis, dpa reported.
"ARMZ has stated its opinion that the recent incidents at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, are likely to have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations, assets or liabilities, financial position or prospects of Mantra," the Perth-based Mantra said in a statement.
Mantra was looking to its Russian partner for funds to exploit its Mkuju River uranium deposit in Tanzania.
Australia - which has 40 per cent of the world's easily recoverable resources of uranium, the feedstock for nuclear power stations - has three uranium mines operating and a huge expansion is under way.
Friday's quake and tsunami in Japan and meltdown fears at its nuclear reactors have rocked confidence in the sector. Shares in other junior miners - Energy and Minerals Australia, Extract Resources and Toro Energy - also bled heavily.
Mark Busuttil, an analyst with JP Morgan, said when commenting on the falls that sentiment had changed and nuclear power would be a harder sell.