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Shareholder vote clears way for wind-down of First Uranium

Uranium mining.

Anthony B. Bannister/Anthony B. Bannister

First Uranium Corp. shareholders voted in favour on Wednesday of selling the company's Africa-focused gold and uranium assets as it unwinds operations just five years after a public debut in Toronto.

The 'yes' vote at a special shareholders meeting brings an end to months of uncertainty surrounding the company, which in its brief history saw market capitalization plummet from $1.4-billion at one point to about $50-million these days.

"Everything has been approved overwhelmingly in favour," John Hick, the lead independent director at First Uranium, said by telephone from a special meeting at a hotel in downtown Toronto.

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First Uranium agreed in March to sell its Mine Waste Solutions tailings-recovery project to South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti for $335-million. In April, it reached a deal to sell its Ezulwini mine to Australia's Gold One International for $70-million.

The sales will bring in enough capital to pay off noteholders and provide some compensation to shareholders who initially opposed the transactions, accusing the company of selling them too cheaply.

"There were no questions," Mr. Hick said of the meeting that will see the start of a slow shutdown of the company, battered by operational mishaps, a cooler uranium market and mounting debt obligations.

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