UNC Resources Inc. and Homestake Mining Co. announced yesterday that they have dissolved a partnership -- United Nuclear-Homestake Partners -- that operated four uranium mines and a mill near Grants, N.M.
Under the dissolution agreement, Homestake has paid the Falls Church-based UNC a total of $23 million -- $20 million for properties and $3 million for yellowcake inventory -- and assumed all debts and liabilities of the partnership. UNC also will receive a production royalty from certain uranium properties held by the partnership.
UNC had a 70 percent share of the partnership, and Homestake, the operator, had a 30 percent share. Homestake will continue the operations of the mine-mill complex, which produced approximately 1.6 million pounds of uranium concentrate in the year ended March 31.
Keith A. Cunningham, UNC's president and chief executive officer, said the properties involved represent a small fraction of UNC's uranium reserves. UNC, a diversified energy company engaged primarily in uranium mining and milling, has been pursuing an active diversification program recently to stem the impact of a softening in both the demand for and the price of uranium. Cunningham said the transaction is in line with the program to diversify to areas outside the nuclear field.
Although UNC officials declined yesterday to comment on their current intentions, the company has in the past stated its desire to acquire Western Airlines, whose proposed merger with Continental Airlines has been spoiled by the last-minute tender offer for Continental by Texas International Airlines.
UNC says it owns some Western stock but that the amount is less than the 5 percent threshold for reporting stock purchases to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Trading in Western stock has been active over the last few weeks and other entities, including Air Florida, are said to have made some purchases of Western stock. Within the last few weeks, Western President Dominic P. Renda and Air Florida Chairman C. Edward Acker discussed Air Florida's actions over lunch in Los Angeles, sources said.