PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Paladin Energy has launched optimisation studies at its Langer Heinrich uranium mine, in Namibia, in preparation for a restart decision.
CEO Scott Sullivan told shareholders on Thursday that the company would consider multiple processing options for the mine in a prefeasibility study targeted for completion in 2019, which would give priority to initiatives to strengthen Paladin’s plan for a rapid, reliable restart of Langer Heinrich once the uranium price has improved.
The optimisation studies will have two key focus areas, including resolving the current operational issues to improve the stability and reliability of the mine and processing facility in order to increase productivity and reduce risk, and to capitalise on the latest technology developments that could lower production costs, improve throughput, and potentially recover vanadium as a by-product.
“We want to position Langer Heinrich to be among the first significant global producers to return to production once the uranium price recovers to acceptable and sustainable levels, which it is moving towards currently,” said Sullivan.
“It is expected to have a relatively low cash cost of production based on current plans and relatively low capital expenditure needed to restart from care and maintenance, and we want to improve our production strategy even further through the optimisation studies.”
A decision was taken in May this year to idle the Langer Heinrich operation, on the back of sustained low spot prices, with the project transitioning to care and maintenance in August.