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Canadian company to acquire 2 uranium-vanadium mines

Toronto-based Northwestern Mineral Ventures Inc. said Thursday it intends to acquire full ownership of two uranium-vanadium mines in the La Sal uranium district in southeastern Utah from GeoXplor Corp.

The Firefly and Gray Daun mines, collectively called the "Firefly Project," saw operations from 1953 through the late 1970s.

"The current global interest in nuclear power has resulted in a substantial increase in the price of uranium, which could make these deposits economically viable once more," Northwestern said. Vanadium is used to produce certain alloys and also has nuclear applications.

Northwestern will pay $5.1 million and will make an additional $5 million payment once a decision is made to begin production on the project or on July 31, 2011, whichever is earlier. GeoXplor also will get 300,000 common shares from Northwestern's treasury and a 2 percent net smelter royalty on the production of uranium and vanadium.

Northwestern has agreed to spend at least $700,000 on the project over the next three years.