Membrane Study initial test work at Etango Uranium Project successfully completed
Bannerman Resources Limite this week announced that the Etango Membrane Study has successfully progressed through the initial test work phase at the Etango Heap Leach Demonstration Plant, validating the potential for further capital and operating cost reductions, to be confirmed in the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) Update.
According to the anouncement on the SENS platform, the highlights include the successful completion of Membrane Study initial test work conducted on-site at Etango Heap Leach Demonstration Plant using membrane pilot test rig, supervised by Bannerman technical team and equipment vendors and the programme ran smoothly, according to timeframe and budget.
Furthermore Bannerman said preliminary lab results are ready for evaluation by equipment vendors, and outcomes are expected early 2018
“Early indications are positive, subject to secondary test work and economic evaluation. DFS Update to incorporate any confirmed cost savings. Potential capital cost savings from smaller Ion Exchange (IX) processing circuit and/or downstream processing units and Potential operating cost savings from acid recovery and upgrading tenor of IX eluate solution,” Bannerman further higlighted.
Earlier in November, Bannerman announced the Etango Processing Optimisation Study (Processing OS), which reported a substantial decrease in estimated capital costs and the potential for significant reductions in operating costs at Bannerman´s proposed Etango uranium mine in Namibia. The Processing OS identified the opportunity to incorporate nano-filtration technology in the processing circuit.
According to them, a subsequent desk-top study by the Australian equipment vendors confirmed this potential after reviewing analytical data from the Etango Heap Leach Demonstration Plant. A membrane pilot test rig was mobilised to site to undertake an initial test work programme, under the supervision of Bannerman´s technical team and the equipment vendors.
The test work used significant volumes of pregnant leach solution obtained from operation of two cribs at the Demonstration Plant. An IX process was then used to make concentrated eluate solution which was also used in the test work. The initial test work is now complete.
Bannerman´s Chief Executive Officer, Brandon Munro, said, “Following the success of the Etango Processing Optimisation Study announced last month, I am delighted with the progress our technical team has made with the Membrane Study. When you consider the proposed scale of production at Etango, the possible operating cost savings that membrane technology can deliver is a huge potential value addition to Etango and Bannerman. This now well established technology has the potential to move the dial at Etango, so we eagerly await the results from this study, expected early next year.”
“Recent production cut announcements from the world´s two largest uranium producers, KazAtomProm and Cameco, will remove more than 25 million pounds of uranium from 2018 forecast supply. This is expected to put the uranium market into deficit, which follows 11 consecutive years of surplus that has driven prices to fundamentally unsustainable levels. Next year promises to be very exciting for our industry and Etango is exceptionally well positioned given its advanced nature, world-class scale and the substantial economic uplift we are targeting in the DFS Update,” he added.