Work On Etango Uranium Mine Hits Top Gear

PROGRESS is being made on the construction of Bannerman Resources’ Etango uranium mine, which may join the list of operating uranium mines in the country after Rio Tinto’s Rossing Uranium, Paladin’s Langer Heinrich and Swakop Uranium’s Husab mine, whose production is expected to start next year.

This week, Bannerman announced that it has awarded the major contracts to construct and operate the Etango heap leach demonstration plant.

Activities at the site are expected to commence by end September 2014 and construction is scheduled for completion by early 2015, the company said.

The award of the major contracts follows completion of a competitive tendering process as well as receipt of the Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The capital cost is estimated at N$14 million.

The operation of the plant for at least 12 months will enable demonstration of the heap leach design at a larger scale to investors and financiers, as well as provide input data for the detailed engineering of the processing plant, the company said. First results are expected in the June quarter.

Bannermanacutes Chief Executive Officer, Len Jubber, said heap leach demonstration plant will enable the company to fast track the development of the Etango project in a rising uranium price environment.”

“There is growing awareness that a looming supply shortfall will require an uranium price of at least US$70 per pound of uranium -double the current spot price- to incentivise supply. However a key contributor to the impending supply deficit is the number of years it will take to bring new significant projects into production due to the lengthy technical, permitting and construction timeframes involved,” Jubber said.

He said Bannermanacutes aanced Etango project remains one of the very few globally significant uranium projects that can realistically be brought into production in the medium term.

“It is noteworthy that the spot price has in the past couple of months increased in small increments to US$36,50 per pound of uranium oxide, over 30% above the eight year low of approximately US$27, 50 per pound,” Jubber said.

Source : The Namibian