Perth, Australia — 11 April 2012 – Bannerman Resources has reported positive results from the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its 80%-owned Etango uranium project in Namibia, as well as a participation agreement with that country’s state miner.
Miningmx reports that, releasing the DFS here, the company said it had accomplished an 80% conversion of measured and indicated mineral resources into proved and probable ore reserves, totalling 279.6Mt at an average grade of 194ppm uranium for 119.3Mlbs of uranium.
It showed “major improvements over the December 2010 preliminary feasibility study (PFS) including increasing the plant size from 15 to 20Mtpa, increasing average annual production by 22%, improving mining and material movement efficiencies, better positioning of mine waste dumps and metallurgical test work supporting a higher uranium recovery rate,” read a company statement.
Bannerman now projects production of 7 to 9Mlbspa for the first five years and 6 to 8Mlbspa thereafter.
“Operating and capital costs, even after the 33% increase in plant throughput and price escalation over the last 15 months, increased from the PFS estimates by only 8% and 24% respectively.”
Cash operating costs of US$41/lb are predicted for the first five years, and an average of US$46/lb over the life of mine.
Pre-production capital cost is estimated at US$870 million.
“Bannerman has now commenced a resource expansion drilling programme targeted to add new mineral resources and extend the mine life beyond 20 years,” read the statement.
“The company will also shortly lodge the DFS, an environmental and social impact assessment and an environmental and social management plan with the relevant Namibian authorities in support the existing mining licence application,” it added.
“In addition to these activities, on the back of the completed DFS, Bannerman can now step up its engagement with potential development partners,” the statement continued.
Bannerman said state miner Epangelo would initially acquire a 5% interest and, upon a mine development decision, a further of 5% interest in Bannerman’s Namibian subsidiary, which owns 100% of the Etango project.
Epangelo has four months to obtain finance from the Development Bank of Namibia or another financing institution acceptable to Bannerman’s shareholders.
During this four month period, other conditions such as Epangelo’s own due diligence investigations, the signing of full-form documentation and receipt of regulatory approvals (as required) are also to be satisfied."
“If Epangelo does not contribute its pro-rata share of cash calls after a mine development decision is made, it shall dilute ultimately to nil in accordance with an agreed ‘dilution and sale’ formula,” the statement said.
Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.