JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX- and TSX-listed Bannerman Resources and external consultants were currently reviewing the proposed mining operations at its 80%-owned Etango uranium project, in Namibia, with a view to reduce costs by about 10%.
The uranium-explorer noted in a statement on Tuesday that cost savings in mining-related areas were a key opportunity, as more than half of operating costs were incurred from this.
A number of areas for potential cost improvements have already been identified, which would all be further assessed.
These included a review of economic cut-off grade strategies, mine scheduling improvements involving in-pit dumping of waste rock material, a review of waste rock dump locations and dimensions, the use of larger mining equipment and an analysis of owner versus contract mining.
Initial results on the assessment of these options would likely be available by June, the company stated.
Since starting a definitive feasibility study at the project, in December, the company has undertaken a range of activities on metallurgical, mining and resource modeling aspects.
A range of continuous flotation tests conducted in January and February had indicated average flotation recoveries of 85% compared with recoveries in excess of 90% recorded in the previously completed batch test work.
Further investigations would be undertaken into the metallurgical parameters required to consistently achieve the higher flotation recoveries, prior to progressing to larger scale pilot plant test work, Bannerman noted.
“We now have greater confidence in our understanding of the Etango mineralisation and are exploring some exciting opportunities to optimise the mining scenario, with the potential to reduce operating costs. We believe that the time and effort invested into proving the flotation process will add substantially to the value of the long life Etango project,” commented CEO Len Jubber.
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