Bannerman completes design on demo plant
Bannerman Resources this week reported that it is intent on commencing construction before the end of the year, of its heap leach demonstration plant. Initially announced earlier in the year, Bannerman also reported that it would be using a convertible note facility to finance the construction and maintenance of the pilot project plant, with costs expected to approximate N$36 million.
The plant will be operational for twelve months following commissioning and should help bring Bannerman’s Etango project to fruition.
“The pilot plant will be constructed to confirm the Definitive Feasibility Study processing assumptions.
It should further de-risk the Etango Uranium Project and help to preserve Bannerman’s capacity to be an early mover to development in a rising uranium price environment” Bannerman said.
The plant will consist of an evaporation pond, a workshop and on-site laboratory, a re-agent mixing area, silent generators, storage tanks for freshwater, cribs, and an agglomerator.
In addition Bannerman reported completion of an internal review exercise of its geological and resource models.
Said Bannerman “Work to date has highlighted the potential to increase the ore feed grade to the processing plant. The project optimisation work progressed to the review of the mine planning aspects of the Definitive Feasibility Study, including taking into consideration the potential to increase the ore feed grade.
This work will continue until at least the end of the September quarter. A decision on updating the mineral resource and ore reserve models will be deferred to post-completion of this work.”
Based on the feasibility study, the Etango project should run in excess of 16 years with further extensions possible through the inclusion of measured and indicated resources, and the conversion of existing inferred resources.
According to Bannerman, its Etango project will rank in the top ten mining projects, taking the 6th rank and displacing Rio Tinto’s Rössing Uranium with an average grade of 119 parts per million yellow cake. To move the project to actual production, Bannerman expects to spend US$870 million on pre-production, with cash operating costs of US$41/lb yellow cake estimated for the first five years and US$46/lb yellow cake estimated over the life of mine.