Marenica seeks partners to commercialise U-pgrade
Marenica Energy has embarked on a mission to seek partners for the development of its patented U-pgrade processing technology, which it believes will drive down the costs of mining uranium. Marenica will in the interim develop a plan to introduce a funding partner that will meet the required investment to commercialise its patented U-pgrade technology.
Commenting on the matter, Murray Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Marenica said, “The recent change in the company´s cash reserves puts us in a strong financial position to complete the financing of Uranium Beneficiation (Pty) Ltd. We are now well equipped to find the right partner to commercialise our exciting U-pgrade process technology.”
Marenica recently raised approximately N$10 million for the proposed development. In 2012, Marenica embarked on an Research and Development programme to develop a uranium concentration process that was unique and ground breaking. This process appeared very promising to lower the extraction cost of uranium at the its Namibian project. Marenica has subsequently applied for a patent which will be registered under the trademark of U-pgrade. In a quest to commercialise U-pgrade, Marenica has transferred the intellectual property of U-pgrade to a wholly owned subsidiary, Uranium Beneficiation (Pty) Ltd, obtained the support of three resource companies to provide representative samples from their deposits and will construct a pilot plant in Australia, operational for at least a month with a throughput of at least 60 kilograms per hour. The first reliable results stemming from the trial will become available in the first quarter of 2015.
The technology was produced on ore obtained from Marenica’s Namibian project.
According to Marenica, the technology will increase the leach feed grade from 94 parts per million to more than 5,000 parts per million uranium oxide, offering significantly improved economics by way of major reductions in calculated capital and operating costs, reduce social and environmental impact per pound of annual production compared to conventional technology, amongst others.
Marenica holds a mining license just north of Areva’s Trekoppje mine, covering an area of roughly 527 square kilometres. In November 2011 Marenica delivered a resource estimate, based on historical and new data, indicating 276 Mt grading 94 parts per million U3O8 comprising an Indicated Mineral Resource of 26 Mt grading 110 parts per million yellow cake and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 250 Mt grading 92 parts per million yellow cake for a combined total of 57 million pounds of contained yellow cake.