Langer Heinrich’s estimated US$6.2 million prefeasibility study approved by Paladin Board
Australian uranium production company, Paladin Energy, Tuesday announced it will commence a Prefeasibility Study(PFS) for the restart of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine after a concept study completed by the company identified multiple options to reduce operating costs, improve uranium process reliability and potentially recover a saleable vanadium product.
The study is expected to cost US$6.2 million and will be funded from existing cash resources, the company said in a statement on their website.
According to Paladin the concept study commenced in September last year and was completed on schedule this month. The study generated a conceptual plan that puts Paladin in a strong position to restart Langer Heinrich where there is a sustained recovery in uranium prices.
Paladin said the concept study verified that the initial; capital funding requirements for a restart are expected to be relatively low, approx. US$100 million, including capital for plant repair and improvement of US$24 million, tailing facility construction of US4.4 million, Back-End Upgrade execution of US$22 million and working capital of US$50 million.
The remaining plant optimisation capital is expected to be funded from operating cash flows following a ramp up to full production, the company added.
Paladin said the PFS is the next step in further refining and verifying Langer Heinrich’s restart plan and a comprehensive PFS plan has now been approved by the board.
According to the statement the PFS will focus on improvements to ensure the restart maximises value, will improve mineral resource definition through additional drilling of the highest-grade remaining resource and develop and confirm processing and operational improvement options, to reduce operating cost and improve operability.
Paladin Chief Executive Officer, Scott Sullivan said the study would also examine Langer Heinrich’s capacity to produce saleable vanadium product as a way of increasing the projects long term value.
The study is to be completed in two stages, with the examination of a rapid, low risk restart for Langer Heinrich to be completed in Q1 FY20 and a more detailed study for process up grades to be completed inQ3 FY20.
Paladin placed Langer Heinrich under care and maintenance in May 2018 due to the sustained low uranium spot price and successfully transitioned the mine to full care and maintenance in August 2018.