Rikus Grobler | Feb 8, 2018 | 0
Langer Heinrich sent uranium ore samples for testing in Oz to reduce operational overheads
The Langer Heinrich uranium mine near Swakopmund is pulling out all stops to reduce operating costs to bring the mine’s overheads in line with the collapsed uranium spot price. Since the buy-out deal with China National Nuclear Corporation foundered, the mine’s parent in Australia, Paladin Energy Ltd, has been placed under administration.
This week another Namibian uranium hopeful, Marenica stated in a Stock Exchange News Service announcement that it has received samples from Langer Heinrich for testing with Marenica’s proprietory technology to improve recovery costs. When Marenica first announced its U-pgrade technology early last year, it expected to conduct further testing that could result in savings of up to 40% for existing uranium producers.
The first tests of Marenica’s U-grade technology started in May last year with the first commercial sampling done in September on ore samples from Deep Yellow Ltd.
Earlier this week Marenica Energy Ltd stated ore samples collected from the Langer Heinrich uranium mine have been received in Perth and test work will commence immediately.
Confirming Langer Heinrich’s desperate search for cost reducers, Marenica said the results are expected to show the substantial reduction in operating overheads Langer Heinrich is hoping for by implementing the U-grade technology.
Marenica Energy Ltd is dual-listed on the Development Capital Board of the Namibian Stock Exchange while the Langer Heinrich parent, Paladin Energy Ltd is listed on the main board under the mining sector.
In 2014, Marenica Energy embarked on a mission to seek partners for the development of its patented U-pgrade processing technology.
“It is expected that the testwork will indicate reduced unit operating costs, a substantial benefit in their own right, and which could also enhance future production expansion opportunities at Langer Heinrich,” Marenica stated this week.
Marenica expects the testwork programme to be completed early in the December quarter of 2017.
Following CNNC Overseas Uranium Holding decision not to exercise its option to acquire Paladin’s share of the mine, Paladin Energy remains with 75% of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine.
With Paladin in administration the final ownership of the mine may not be known for a period of time. “Nevertheless, successful testwork results of the U-pgrade application are expected to provide operating costs benefits to the mine, irrespective of the owner,” Marenica added.
Marenica Energy Ltd holds its own uranium mining licence on a prospect just north of Areva’s Trekoppje mine, covering an area of roughly 527 square kilometres.