Uranium-focused junior GoviEx Uranium has filed its NI 43-101 Technical Report on a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of its Mutanga uranium project in Zambia.The PEA was prepared by Qualified Persons from SRK Consulting (UK).
Highlights of the PEA include the following:
- The project development plan envisions an average annual production rate of 2.4 Mlb of U3O8 yellowcake over an initial 11-year mine life, with an 88% ultimate uranium recovery rate.
- Initial capital costs are estimated at US$123 million, with estimated cash operating costs of US$31.1/lb U3O8, excluding royalties. Total life-of-mine (LoM) costs are forecast at US$37.9/lb U3O8.
- The PEA is based on measured and indicated mineral resources of 15 Mlb U3O8 and 45 Mlb of inferred mineral resources.
- At a long-term uranium price of US$58/lb U3O8, the base case project economics for this project are positive, and indicate an after-tax net present value of $112 million (at 8% discount rate) with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 25% and total life-of-mine net free cash of US$268 million.
The PEA is considered preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorised as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have not yet demonstrated economic viability.
Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration or mineral reserves once economic considerations are applied; therefore, there is no certainty that the production profile concluded in the PEA will be realised.
The Mutanga project consists of three contiguous, fully-permitted mining licences.
Mineral resources have not been constrained by pit shells; however, almost all of the mineralisation occurs within 125 m of surface with uranium grades that are, in general, considered to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction by open pit mining.
The cut-off grade used for reporting the mineral resource is 100 ppm U3O8, which is applied directly to block model cells.
No U3O8 ppm cut-off is applied to block model cells for reporting the mineral resource; however, the outer limits block model was constrained within a 100 ppm U3O8 wireframe used for geological modelling.