Construction of Bannerman demo plant to commence
Bannerman Resources Limited recently awarded a number of contracts for the construction of its demonstration plant. Amongst the companies are Gecko Namibia, Refraline SA Industrial Linings, and Aquatan Lining Systems. The construction of the plant is expected to commence by end of September 2014 while construction is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2015.
The award of the major contracts follows completion of a competitive tendering process as well as
receipt of the Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The capital cost is estimated at A$1,4 million, Bannerman said in a statement.
The demonstration plant will operate for at least 12 months, enabling the demonstration of the heap leach design to a larger scale of investors and financiers. In addition, Bannerman anticipates that the project will provide input data for the detailed engineering of the processing plant with the first results of the project expected in the June quarter.
Bannerman’s Chief Executive Officer, Len Jubber, said, “The commitment to the Etango heap leach demonstration plant program, with the support of our major shareholder RCF via the investment from their recently established Fund VI, will enable maintaining our early mover advantage and ability to fast track the development of the Etango project in a rising uranium price environment.”
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.
“There is growing awareness that a looming supply shortfall will require a uranium price of at least US$70 per lb U3O8 to incentivise supply. However a key contributor to the impending supply deficit is the number of years it will take to bring new significant projects into production due to the lengthy technical, permitting and construction time frames involved. Bannerman’s advanced Etango project remains one of the very few globally significant uranium projects that can realistically be brought into production in the medium term,”Jubber added.
Bannerman will employ heap leaching processing technology at its Etango project because of an absence of clay in the ore, he mineralisation is free of acid consuming carbonates [marble], thereby keeping sulphuric acid consumption relatively low at 18kg/tonne of ore processed, because the predominantly uraninite mineralisation is located at grain boundaries allowing rapid and high recoveries at relatively coarse particle sizes; as well as consistent leach characteristics across the entire deposit.
He said, “It is noteworthy that the spot price has in the past couple of months increased in small increments to US$36.50 per lb U3O8, over 30% above the 8 year low of approximately US$27.50 per lb U3O8.”