Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 July 2009 – The board of Paladin Energy Limited – a uranium production company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Namibian Stock Exchange – has given its approval to proceed with the Stage III expansion of its 100%-owned Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia.
Confirming this in a letter to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company revealed that this decision had been taken after investigating a number of production and technical scenarios in the feasibility study it had just completed. The project would be carried out under the following conditions:
- Nominal production to increase to 5.2Mlb pa of U3O8 with a target completion date of September 2010,
- Minimised capital cost now estimated at US$71million (R568 million) with no significant additional infrastructure required,
- Payback would take 15 months based on current U3O8 term pricing,
- Mine life is maintainable at approximately 20 years with further infill drilling, and
- There is potential for further expansion.
Paladin explained that original investigations had targeted a nominal production of 6Mlb pa of U3O8, which required a significant expenditure to upgrade both the power and water supply infrastructure. This expansion model would have required project commitment of US$174 million (R1.4 billion).
A revised expansion model adopted by Paladin for Stage III provides an excellent basis for further progressing and expanding the project. The expansion concept adopted has achieved 87% of the originally stated production using only 41% of the original planned capex.
It said this Stage III expansion moved Paladin Energy – through the Langer Heinrich operation –yet another step towards becoming acknowledged as a true Tier 1 uranium producer.