Perth, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 May 2008 – Australian-based Albidon Limited – listed on the AIM and the Australian Securities Exchange – says its Chirundu uranium joint venture with African Energy Resources has been shown to be commercially viable.
Announcing this here, the company confirmed that its joint venture partner, African Energy Resources (AFR), had completed the pre-feasibility study to assess the viability of commercial uranium mining from the Njame and Gwabe deposits in the Chirundu JV project. It had also completed an upgrade of indicated and inferred resources for the project.
By completing these milestones AFR has now earned an interest of 70% in the Chirundu joint venture, with Albidon retaining the other 30%.
The announcement added that the pre-feasibility study had demonstrated that commercially viable mining of uranium from Chirundu is possible under the projected uranium price, capital cost and operating cost scenarios. AFR’s directors have approved the commencement of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the project, and has 60 days to decide whether it wishes to contribute to the BFS costs in proportion to its interest in the joint venture.
The latest resource upgrades from the pre-feasibility study are as follows:
- Njame North: an indicated resource of 3.9 Mt @ 388 ppm U3O8 , containing 3.4 Mlbs U3O8); and an inferred resource of 5.2 Mt @ 275 ppm U3O8, containing 3.1 Mlbs U3O8);
- Gwabe: an indicated resource of 0.9 Mt @ 196 ppm U3O8, containing 0.4 Mlbs U3O8; and an inferred resource of 4.0 Mt @ 303 ppm U3O8, containing 2.6 Mlb U3O8.
The pre-feasibility study adds that the project will produce 1.3 Mlb U3O8 pa over a 5-6 year project life. It will employ open pit mining, acid heap-leach processing, and ion-exchange precipitation.
Estimated capital expenditure will involve US$68 million (R515 million) for pre-production costs with an additional US $21 million (R160 million) in deferred costs.