Uranex on the hunt for Songea JV partner PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Uranium explorer Uranex on Wednesday confirmed that it was in negotiations with potential joint venture partners for an exploration progamme at its Songea coal project, in Tanzania. Responding to media speculation, the company said that it had received a number of unsolicited proposals, which remained incomplete and confidential. It added that the discussions were at a preliminary stage, and there were no firm indications of interest or how the participation would be structured. While Uranex has people with significant experience in coal exploration, the company believes that additional experience from other coal-focused companies is required to unlock the potential of this coal field in the near term, and thus create the best value for shareholders, the ASX-listed company said. The strategic approach would also allow Uranex to maintain its focus on the Mkuju uranium project, also in Tanzania. The Songea coal project covers some 2 606 km[SUP]2[/SUP] and contains 11 recognised coalfields. Current activities under way at the project include geophysical down-hole logging of the drill holes completed last year, and a review of the basin by consultants to target areas most likely to host near-surface coal. Uranex said on Wednesday that a recent $3-billion agreement between the Tanzanian government and Chinas Sichuan Hongda would see the development and mining of the adjacent Mchuchuma coalfield, representing the single-largest investment in Tanzania. The coalfields are adjacent to a planned infrastructure build project, which would include rail, road, power and port facilities for domestic and export markets.