PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Uranium hopeful Toro Energy has announced a 32% increase in its uranium resource at the Wiluna project, in Western Australia, following an upgrade of the Centipede and Lake Way deposits and the acquisition of the Millipede and Dawson Hinkler Well deposits.
The miner said on Monday that the Wiluna project is now estimated to host some 50.1-million pounds of contained uranium oxide, with 58% of the project resource in the Centipede and Lake Way deposits now classified as measured and indicated.
MD Greg Hall said in a statement that the company was moving closer to being Australia’s next uranium producer, adding that the resource upgrade of the Centipede and Lake Way deposits, and the recent successful pilot plant processing testwork, enhanced the continuing technical feasibility study of the Wiluna project, which was currently in the public review phase of the government assessment.
Subject to government and board approval, Toro was planning to start production at Wiluna by 2013.
The project would involve mining up to two-million tons a year of mineralised ore, over about ten years, producing 700 t/y of uranium oxide concentrate.
The Toro board would likely take a commitment decision by the third quarter of 2012, to enable the start of construction by late 2012, initial commissioning production by late 2013 and first uranium sales in 2014.
Toro recently completed the acquisition of the Millipede and Dawson Hinkler Well deposits, along with two tenements containing a major portion of the Nowthanna uranium deposit.
“This full update on the Wiluna project resources and Wiluna regional resources supports our decision to progress with the Wiluna uranium project, and to continue to seek further uranium project opportunities within a 200 km radius of Wiluna,” said Hall.
He added that the recent acquisitions of tenement areas in Wiluna has consolidated Toro into a very strong position in the Wiluna region.
“The Wiluna uranium project is evolving into an exciting uranium mine development with the intended aim of delivering first production into an expanding global nuclear power market with considerable supply constraints, in the middle of this decade.
“Recent market reports indicate considerable new primary mine supply will be required, and Toro believes it will be one of a very few global uranium projects which will achieve production during this important time period.”