PERTH (miningweekly.com) − Dual-listed uranium hopeful Mantra Resources on Friday said that a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the first phase of its Nyota prospect, in Tanzania, supported yearly production of 4,2-million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8).
The phase-one study indicated that the mine could operate for ten years, based on yearly throughput of 5,2-million tons of ore, the ASX- and TSX-listed company reported.
“The positive results clearly demonstrate that the current resource base at Nyota can support a large-scale, low-cost, long-life uranium mining operation,” said CEO Peter Breese.
He noted that Mantra also believed that there was a potential to increase the production rate and mine life by upgrading the resource base, as well as treating lower-grade mine ore through the second phase expansion, and continuing exploration to unlock the prospectivity of the broader Mkuju River project.
The phase-one DFS was based on a measured and indicated resource of 67,7-million tons, averaging 439 ppm, for 65,6-million pounds of contained U3O8.
The additional 41,2-million tons, averaging 395 ppm for 35,9-million pounds of U3O8 in the inferred resources category was excluded from the DFS.
Breese said that the DFS was based on an owner-operated mining scenario, with the processing plant based on a simple acid leach and conventional resin-in-pulp technology.
The development costs for the phase-one project was estimated at around $390,5-million, of which $163,1-million would go to the processing plant and $227,4-million for the project infrastructure and management.
Based on the detailed implementation plan, Breese said that the project could be ready for hot commissioning with 21 months from the start of detailed engineering.
He noted that Mantra would now undertake a prefeasibility study on heap leaching the lower-grade mined ore for the project’s second phase of growth.
It was envisaged that this phase would start after the resin-in-pulp circuit has reached steady state operation, and would provide the project with an incremental increase in production over and above the planned 4,2-million pounds of U3O8 provided by the phase-one development.