Namibia – Bannerman Resources, the dual-listed uranium junior, has secured tenure over the entire 95%-owned Etango mine site and two satellite deposits through the granting of a five year extendable retention licence.
The retention licence covers an area of 7 295 hectares, which includes the Etango ore body, two satellite deposits at Hyena and Ondjamba and all planned mine infrastructure. Accordingly, 100% of the project’s uranium resources are secured under long term tenure.
The retention licence provides strong and exclusive rights to tenure and the right (without obligation) to continue with exploration or development work, enabling the DFS update work programme to continue.
Under the Namibian Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act 1992, a mineral deposit retention licence may be granted to a project where all feasibility and other work has been completed to enable mining, however the commodity price does not currently support the profitable development of the project. The applicant must demonstrate that the relevant commodity price is expected to improve sufficiently to enable profitable mining.
“A retention licence is the ideal tenure for the highly advanced Etango project. It ensures this world-class project can move quickly to a mining licence when the uranium price recovers and gives us maximum flexibility in the meantime, says Bannerman Resources CEO Brandon Munro, who is grateful for the continued support received from the Namibian government – the grant of this retention licence being the latest example.
This move follows the denial of Bannerman Resources mining licence application in July 2016 – having received correspondence stating that the Honourable Minister intends to refuse the application for the Etango project mining license which was applied for in December 2009.
Bannerman Resources says that this outcome was not unexpected and is the result of the low uranium price.
The company retains the right to re-apply for a mining licence when the uranium market recovers as well.