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Lotus poised to be major uranium player with Kayelekera restart, Letlhakane optimisation

16th January 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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ASX-listed Lotus Resources has, post the completion of its acquisition of A-Cap, finalised the preliminary work programmes required to enable it to become a global uranium player, targeting a potential restart at the Kayelekera uranium project, in Malawi, in late 2025 and the optimisation of the Letlhakane uranium project, in Botswana, to define a robust, economic project.

The company boasts mineral resources of 241-million pounds of uranium oxide at Kayelekera and Letlhakane.

Lotus says it will leverage its proven uranium expertise in developing Letlhakane, one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium resources, in Botswana.

It has identified opportunities to add further value at Letlhakane in the short to medium term and it will focus on optimising Letlhakane’s resource and targeting a higher-grade component as the basis for a value maximising development strategy.

The Letlhakane resource update is planned for completion in the first half of this year.

A beneficiation metallurgical test work programme is also under way to determine the upgrade potential of the orebody.

Further, Lotus will soon enlist the services of a debt adviser to test the market for debt for the restart of production at Kayelekera.

It highlights that there have been increased enquiries from utilities for Kayelekera offtake.

Kayelekera work streams have been prioritised to enable a final investment decision to be made as quickly as possible.

Lotus avers that the market fundamentals are the strongest seen in well over a decade.

It highlights a uranium spot price of over $100/lb.

It also mentions production constraints, including the recent commentary around reduced production profiles from Kazatomprom for 2024 and 2025.

There is also strong legislative support for new production from Western facilities, including the potential ban of Russian uranium imports into the US currently in front of the US Senate, Lotus outlines.

“The A-Cap merger has delivered Lotus a vastly increased resource base of 241-milllion pounds of uranium, the bulk of which is located in the top-ranked global mining jurisdiction of Botswana, and combines two highly complementary and synergistic projects with significant leverage to the global uranium thematic.

“Lotus has developed an initial programme of work bringing its proven uranium skills to optimise Letlhakane’s potential, including updating the Letlhakane mineral resource model and undertaking preliminary test work to determine the potential of upgrading Letlhakane ore and, therefore, target a more efficient processing route,” Lotus MD Keith Bowes says.

“While Letlhakane is considered the longer-term asset, Lotus remains focused on restarting the Kayelekera project as soon as practicable to benefit from the current strong and increasing uranium prices.

“As such, Lotus is testing the market for debt and is focused on undertaking the necessary planned activities to prepare Kayelekera for a potential restart of production in late 2025 when the supply gap for the nuclear utilities is forecast,” he adds.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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