SHAREHOLDERS in First Uranium voted in favour of a $405m transaction to sell the company's assets to repay debt.
The transactions with AngloGold Ashanti and Gold One mark the end of the embattled and debt-laden miner, which reached a point where it could no longer continue without either greatly diluting existing shareholders or going into bankruptcy.
Shareholders at a special meeting in Toronto yesterday voted in favour of all five resolutions put to them.
Two company sources said late yesterday, South African time, that they could not confirm the conclusion of the deal but provisional indications were that the resolutions had passed but that debenture and other debt holders still needed to vote.
Canadian news outlet The Globe and Mail quoted John Hick, First Uranium's lead independent director, as saying: "Everything has been approved overwhelmingly in favour."
The votes will allow the $335m AngloGold purchase of the gold and uranium tailings treatment business, Mine Waste Solutions, as well as Gold One's $70m acquisition of the Ezulwini gold and uranium mine and processing plant.
The sales will allow First Uranium to repay C$150m ($146m) of debt falling due at the end of this month. First Uranium bumped up the payout to shareholders to 33c (Canadian) from 26c per share to ensure the resolutions were passed after a dissident group of shareholders representing about 18% of the shares tried to drum up support against the transaction, which they said undervalued the assets.
The board rebuffed proposals from other parties that meant First Uranium would not be able to repay its debts in time, risking its mining right to Ezulwini.
Neither AngloGold nor Gold One was available for comment.