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Powertech-Azarga Merger Means Tougher Fight for Uranium Mine Opponents

Opponents of uranium mining in the Black Hills just lost one cause for hope. Previously Powertech appeared so impoverished that it might run out of cash before winning its permits to use and abuse Black Hills water in pursuit of the uranium under Custer and Fall River counties.

But now Powertech has struck a deal to merge with the larger Azarga Resources. That means much more cash to fight for the opportunity to pollute the Black Hills:

“The biggest change is the fact that we’ve now become very well capitalized and have the capacity to move this project forward,” Powertech’s Dewey-Burdock project manager Mark Hollenbeck said, referring to the in situ uranium mine proposed in the Southern Hills.

Azarga injected more than $5 million into Powertech’s pocket between July and October of last year, rescuing the company from financial insolvency. In exchange Azarga gained controlling stake of Powertech’s proposed Centennial ISR uranium mine in Colorado and Azarga reps found seats on Powertech’s board of directors. Concurrently, Azarga steadily increased its stake in Powertech to an eventual 45.1 percent of all issued and outstanding common shares.

“Azarga has been our largest shareholder and main financier since mid-2013,” Clement said. “The merger importantly brings cash and undrawn financing facilities with its assets that put Powertech in a much more robust position moving forward” [Adam Hurlburt, "Powertech Plans Merger with Hong Kong-based Azarga Resources," Black Hills Pioneer, 2014.02.28].

A robust Powertech troubles Black Hills water-drinker and tourism profiteer John Tsitrian:

Where Powertech had been just barely hanging on, financially, and staked everything on Dewey-Burdock, its new incarnation as Azarga Uranium probably gives it significantly more financial staying power. On the upside, a company like Azarga, with extensive interests in mines and deposits in the United States and central Asia, may not think the trouble and expense of developing Dewey-Burdock is worth the permitting risk that apparently hamstrung Powertech for the past few years. We'll see. Much as I'm glad that Powertech finally ran out of patience and resources to pursue this thing, I'd be wary of Azarga's intentions. This is likely to go on for a while [John Tsitrian, "This Is Interesting. A Few Weeks Ago I Told Powertech Uranium To Get Lost. Well, They Did . . . Sort Of," The Constant Commoner, 2014.02.27].

Powertech just got more ammo. Friends of the Hills, keep firing back!


  1. Donald Pay 2014.03.03

    My view is this: Azarga is just a bigger fraud than Powertech. Azarga brings zero technical expertise to the table. They, like Powertech, have never run an ISL operation. Azarga is an investment vehicle, and brings a lot of money from a bunch of naive overseas investors. I suspect they've structured this "merger" in a way that Azarga can't be held liable for Powertech's environmental problems. They'll sell off Powertech if it gets a permit, and pocket some quick cash.

  2. Les 2014.04.09

    Is there millions going into cleanup Harding county former mine/mines in areas of rampant sickness/cancer? Talk on the street.

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