ERA's loss widens to $255m

URANIUM miner Energy Resources of Australia has slumped to a $255 million half year loss after shelving a major mine expansion in challenging conditions.

THE Rio Tinto-controlled miner will not pay a half year dividend and said the uranium market remained challenging as an oversupply kept prices week.

Still, ERA says if nuclear generating units in Japan restart in the second half of 2015 as anticipated, that may provide support for uranium demand.
"Whilst the price recovery continues to be slow, in part due to the delay in reactor restarts in Japan, the long term outlook is more favourable," the company said.
Demand from the construction of new generation capacity in China was expected to exceed supply by the end of this decade, ERA added.

Half of the company's board quit last month after ERA decided its proposed new underground mine at Ranger would not proceed to a final feasibility study due to a sluggish uranium market.

Controlling shareholder Rio Tinto then pulled its support for any expansion of the mine, despite ERA saying it would seek to extend its authority to operate Ranger in order to re-visit the expansion at some stage.

ERA's net loss in the six months to June 30 is significantly larger than the $127 million loss incurred in the same period of 2014, due mainly to a $197 million writedown related to the mine decision.

That's a $255 million *half year* loss.