PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Capital cost estimates for a standalone uranium/vanadium operation at Lake Maitland, at the Wiluna project, in Western Australia, amount to A$270-million, or $202.5-million.
ASX-listed Toro Energy on Wednesday said that the scoping-level estimation of the capital cost had been completed by SRK Consulting Australasia and Strategic Metallurgy.
The new capital cost estimate delivered a A$45-million reduction to the A$315-million estimate for the development of the entire Wiluna uranium operation, with processing based at the Centipede-Millipede deposit.
Toro recently flagged a standalone operation at Lake Maitland, developing a new processing flowsheet which would included an initial beneficiation step that produced a low mass, high grade uranium concentrate.
“We are delighted to release a very competitive $202.5-million capital cost estimate for our proposed Lake Maitland uranium/vanadium operation. After the outstanding pit re-optimisation results, the capital cost estimate is an excellent and economically significant milestone towards delivering our strategy to advance the Wiluna uranium project so that it is optimised when conditions are favourable for its financing and construction,” said Toro executive chairperson Richard Homsany.
“The Wiluna uranium project is an asset of global significance, and our clear focus is on the long-term feasibility of uranium production from the asset as global uranium markets continue to strengthen. Toro’s view is that we are in the early stages of an increasingly upward uranium market with peak uranium prices still to come.”
Homsany said that Lake Maitland represented a significant proportion of the Wiluna uranium project’s resources of both uranium and vanadium.
“The $202.5-million capital cost estimate for Lake Maitland compared to the capital cost estimation of A$315-million for the entire Wiluna uranium project prepared almost 10 years ago is an outstanding result given inflationary pressures, and significantly improves the economics of the entire project.
“This capital cost estimate is a key milestone that demonstrates that Lake Maitland could itself be a viable standalone uranium/vanadium operation over an approximate 17-year mine life, processing 1.94-million tonnes of ore a year and producing approximately 23.5-million pounds of uranium oxide and 12.2-million pounds of vanadium pentoxide.
“This is an exciting result for Toro shareholders. Further optionality and economic upside exists for Toro given the proximity to Lake Maitland of the Centipede, Millipede and Lake Way uranium deposits that could increase the production of uranium and vanadium. We look forward to announcing the C1 operational expenditure estimate from the scoping study, which is expected to be completed soon.”