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Salamanca uranium project, Spain – update

Image of uranium ore

19th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Salamanca uranium project.

Location
Spain.

Project Owner/s
Berkeley Energia.

Project Description
Salamanca has an overall mineral resource estimate of 89.3-million pounds of uranium. The project is based solely on measured and indicated resources totalling 59.8-million pounds.

An independent study has confirmed the project as one of the world’s lowest-cost producers capable of generating strong after-tax cash flow through the current low point in the uranium price cycle.

The study is based on extracting 61.3-million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 408 parts per million (ppm) uranium to produce 48.6-million pounds of uranium.

The study envisages an initial mine life of 14 years, producing on average 3.5-million pounds of uranium a year. After initial ramp-up, production will average 4.4-million pounds a year over ten years of steady-state operation.

Potential Job Creation
In addition to the creation of 450 direct jobs when the project is in full production, up to 2 000 indirect jobs will be created in the community.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $531.9-million and an internal rate of return of 60%.

Capital Expenditure
€82.3-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Berkeley Energia remains committed to the Salamanca project and remains open to discussions with Spanish authorities.

The company has said it will take its investment dispute with Spain to international arbitration.

In November 2023, subsidiary Berkeley Exploration Limited submitted a written notification of an investment dispute to the Prime Minister of Spain, and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, informing them of the nature of the dispute and the Energy Charter Treaty breaches.

The Spanish government has not yet engaged in any discussions pertaining to the dispute and has said that it has “no option”, but to take action and enforce its rights at the Salamanca project through international arbitration.

The company’s dispute with Spain traces back to 2021 when government approved amendments to its draft climate change and energy transition Bill, specifically targeting the exploitation of radioactive minerals such as uranium.

Despite holding the legal rights for the investigation and exploitation of its mining projects, including Salamanca, Berkeley was hindered by the new legislation. The company’s efforts faced further setbacks in November 2021, when it received formal notification of the rejection by the Nuclear Safety Council (NSC). Berkeley has refuted the NSC’s assessment.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Iberdrola (rerouting of main power line); Amec Foster Wheeler Group (front-end engineering design); and Sandvik Group (primary crusher).

Contact Details for Project Information
Berkeley Energia, tel +44 207 478 3900 or fax +44 207 434 4450.
 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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