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Uis Phase 2 expansion project, Namibia – update

A ground photo of the Uis tin project

11th November 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Uis Phase 2 expansion project.

Location
Namibia.

Project Owner/s
AfriTin Mining.

Project Description
The historical Uis mine was owned and operated by Iscor from 1958 and to1991 as a tin mine.

The Uis project comprises a total non-Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant mining reserve (provided for guidance purposes only) of 134-million tonnes of ore, which could result in a mine life of 14 years. The mining plan features a production rate of ten-million tonnes a year of run-of-mine (RoM) ore at an average overburden stripping ratio of 2.6.

AfriTin has set out to re-establish the Uis operation in two phases. Phase 1 is a low-capital, cash-generating initial production facility serving as a pilot for Phase 2, which is planned as a scaled-up version of the initial phase. The beneficiation process may involve dry crushing of the RoM ore and using sensor-based ore sorting once confirmed through testwork.

The preconcentrates from this process could then be treated through various wet concentration circuits to produce saleable concentrates. The tin and tantalum minerals could be preconcentrated using X-ray transmission ore sorting and concentrated through dense-media separation (DMS), gravity separation and magnetic separation. The lithium mineral petalite could be preconcentrated using near-infrared ore sorting, concentrated using DMS, and cleaned using milling and flotation.

Mining will comprise conventional openpit methods using low-carbon truck-and-excavator combinations, and is planned to be conducted over multiple pegmatite orebodies from four to five pits concurrently. A zero-effluent plant is planned to include dewatering systems for all concentrate and discard streams to aim for maximum water conservation and eliminate the need for tailings dams.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $2.1-billion and an internal rate of return of 75%, with a payback of 1.5 years.

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital expenditure is estimated at $440-million, including a 30% contingency.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The commissioning of the first phase of the tin expansion project at the Uis mine is complete, with the beneficiation plant performing well.

An infill exploration programme is in progress and aims to improve the geological confidence of the present lithium and tantalum mineral resource estimates.

To produce a saleable tantalum concentrate, further expansion of the plant has been initiated and successful bench-scale tests for the production of lithium concentrate will be followed by the construction of a lithium pilot plant.

Increased plant throughput is also expected to benefit the ultimate production of lithium and tantalum by-products, as these minerals are present in the same ore stream as the tin.

The suitability of sensor-based ore sorting, which has the potential to double or treble ore throughput, is being investigated.

The first-phase expansion project targets lifting production from 780 t/y – involving 470 t/y of tin in concentrate – to 1 200 t/y  – involving 720 t/y of tin in concentrate.

Forming part of the project’s scope is the modular expansion of the processing plant’s crushing and screening circuits, as well as the construction of stockpile for ore fines.

Dry plant expansion allows for the feed rate of ore to the plant to be increased by about 50%, with the stockpile providing buffer capacity for greater plant utilisation.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
AfriTin Mining, email info@afritinmining.com.
Tavistock, on behalf of Afritin Mining, tel +44 (0) 207 920 3150 or email afritin@tavistock.co.uk.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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