Niger – GoviEx Uranium has filed an updated NI 43-101 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for its Madaouela uranium project; defining a large, low operating cost, commercially viable uranium project in the prolific Arlit uranium-mining district of northern Niger.
The new IDP has generated a higher net present value and lower operating costs than announced in April, largely due to the 13% increase in resources, lower process costs from reduced acid consumption and higher recovery achieved by additional ablation and leach test work.
Highlights of GoviEx’s Madaouela uranium project July 2015 IDP:
- The project development plan envisions an average 2.69 million pounds per year U3O8 yellowcake production rate over a 21-year mine life, with a 93.7% ultimate recovery of uranium.
- The IDP is based on Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 110 million pounds (Mlb) U3O8 and 61 Mlb of Probable Mineral Reserves.
- The base case project economics for this project at a long-term uranium price of US$70/lb U3O8 are positive, and indicate an after-tax net present value of US$340 million (at 8% discount rate) with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 23.5% and a total life of mine (LoM) net free cash of US$1,126 million.
- Initial capital costs are estimated at US$359 million, and cash operating costs of US$24.49/lb U3O8 including by-product credits and excluding royalties. It is noted that molybdenum has not been included in the Mineral Resource model and hence is not considered to be at the same level of confidence as the uranium grades.
GoviEx already has received the approval of its Environmental Social Impact Assessment for the Madaouela project from the Minister in charge of the environment, and as announced on June 30, 2015, has filed the application for a Mining Permit based on the project defined in the updated IDP.
The project is an advanced stage property, for which five deposits have been developed to a high level of confidence (Marianne, Marilyn, Miriam, MSNE and Maryvonne). The IDP is based on detailed pre-feasibility geological studies, metallurgical testing and processing options, mine design, infrastructure, rock mechanics, tailings and heap leach, hydrogeological and environmental impact.
Mining schedules have been developed including open pit mining at the Miriam deposit, and room and pillar mining with decline access at a combined 4 020 tpd production rate from Marianne-Marilyn, MSNE and Maryvonne deposits.
The base case mineral processing design is crushing, radiometric sorting, ablation and two-stage tank acid leaching, solvent extraction, with dry stack tailings. Utilizing Cyanex 600 resin allows both uranium oxide yellow cake and by-product molybdenum oxide to be produced as commercial products with acceptable quality for sale.
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