December 22, 2018 / 3:50 PM / 2 years ago

Spanish village denies building permit to Berkeley Energia uranium project

FILE PHOTO: The offices of Australian mining company Berkeley Energia are seen near a planned open-cast uranium mine in Retortillo, near Salamanca, Spain, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish village has denied Berkeley Energia a permit to build Europe’s only open-cast uranium mine near Salamanca in western Spain, casting renewed doubt over the Australia-based company’s sole project.

According to a document obtained by Reuters on Saturday, the municipality of Retortillo ruled on Dec. 19 against the mine, saying Berkeley did not own the land needed for the project and the company had failed to present the relevant documentation.

A spokesman for Berkeley Energia, whose shares slid to a near-record low of 0.14 euros last week on concerns over prospects for the mine, said the company had received no notification on the matter.

While Berkeley has obtained most of the permits needed to build and operate the mine, it still lacks key authorisations from the Spanish government and the country’s nuclear watchdog.

Reuters reported in October that the government was opposed to the mine, though it has yet to publish its decision.

The nuclear watchdog is due to rule on the project next year.

Reporting by Belen Carreno and Julien Toyer; Editing by David Holmes

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