Serial mine builder and financier Stephen Roman cut his teeth working for Denison Mines Corp. (TSX: DML), the uranium company built by his father. After starting there as a miner at the age of nineteen, he spent the next 25 years at the uranium producer before striking out on his own in 1990-1991.
Roman went on to build several mines in the gold space, the most recent, Harte Gold Corp.’s (TSX: HRT; US-OTC: HRTFF), Sugar mine, in Ontario. Among his other accomplishments: Building the Black Fox mine, now owned by McEwen Mining (TSX: MUX; NYSE: MUX), and selling Gold Eagle to Goldcorp. (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) for $1.5 billion.
But Roman’s interest in uranium never waned. In January 2005 he set up Global Uranium Corp.—now called Global Atomic Corp. (TSXV: GLO; US-OTC: SYIFF)—and decided to focus the company’s exploration dollars on West Africa.
“Typically from Denison days it would take 20 to 30 years to permit uranium deposits in this country so I said to the team, ‘Let’s look in West Africa’,” he says. At that time, Niger had just decided to open its doors to foreign investment, so the company started looking for property there.
One of the first things Roman did was to call George Flach to get his advice. Flach, a geologist, and long-time associate and friend, was working on a gold project in Niger at the time. “I asked him whether there was any chance to pick up some uranium concessions in the country and he said ‘Absolutely! Come on over,’” Roman recalls.
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