Aura Energy has announced the successful completion of its Tiris uranium project resource upgrade in Mauritania. The company reports results have exceeded expectations.
Aura Energy (ASX:AEE) has announced the successful completion of its Tiris uranium project resource upgrade in Mauritania. The company reports results have exceeded expectations with an increase in the overall resource to 52 million lbs U3O8, 17 million pounds in the Measured and Indicated Categories, good resource continuity and a contribution from the new Hippolyte South exploration area.
The resource estimation by Aura’s consultants has demonstrated that while short range variability occurs, these deposits show good continuity at a broader scale. This opens the possibility for non-selective bulk mining of the Tiris mineralization. Aura will now address this during the production of a final mine plan. Aura previously defined an Inferred Resource of 49 Mlbs at a grade of 334 ppm U3O8 (at a 100 ppm U3O8 lower cut-off grade).
As quoted in the press release:
“This Resource upgrade has exceeded our expectations in many ways. Our objective was to upgrade approximately 7 million lbs of contained U3O8 to the Measured and Indicated categories, so the achievement of 17 million lbs has exceeded this by a wide margin providing potential for more than 17 years mine life,” said Peter Reeve, Aura’s executive chairman. “The resource contribution from our new exploration area Hippolyte South was very encouraging as was our resource experts highlighting the orebody continuity, an important aspect for our future development plans. Pleasingly, this upgrade study only covered part of the original resource so further increases in the Measured and Indicated categories are possible in the future. Aura has again moved this important project forward and will now be in a position to have the full exploitation permit granted by the government. It’s a great achievement all round.”
In 2017, Aura conducted an extensive drilling campaign in order to upgrade a significant portion of this resource to measured and indicated status to allow the establishment of mining reserves sufficient for the initial 5 to 10 years of operation of the Tiris uranium mining project in Mauritania. As announced previously one of the key technical aspects to the Tiris Uranium Project is the ability to beneficiate the ore to a higher grade before processing in the leach circuit. Given the uranium mineral is very fine grained carnotite, simple washing and screening has resulted in beneficiation upgrades of between 330 to 700 percent. In past test work the effect of this upgrade was found across all zones of the orebody and the impact on both the plant capital cost and operating cost is significant as between 80- 90% of the mass is rejected before the main processing.