Focus to remain on uranium despite Shiyela discovery

27th January 2012 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

Despite its recent promising iron-ore Shiyela discovery in Namibia, ASX-listed Deep Yellow tells Mining Weekly that it has no intention of shifting its focus away from its uranium assets in that country.

“We still remain very much a uranium-focused explorer. While looking for uranium, we have discovered this primarily magnetite iron deposit, and we decided that we owe it to our share- holders, and to Namibia, to inves- tigate [the discovery] and test its potential before making a final decision,” says Deep Yellow MD Greg Cochran.

During December last year, Deep Yellow, which will be attending this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on February 6 to 9, declared a maiden resource of 78.8-million tons, at 18.8% iron at the Shiyela iron project.

“What we have here is classified as a coarse-grained magnetite, which is good for us. And in addition to that, we have the ability to produce a high-quality product with no deleterious elements,” Cochran states.

The explorer is currently undertaking a scoping study for the Shiyela project, and will be reviewing its options on how best to take the project forward. The company has also submitted a mining application to the Namibian government, and is awaiting the government’s decision.

Meanwhile, Deep Yellow will also remain focused on obtaining critical mass at its Omahola uranium project, after the Tubas Red Sands deposit was removed from the equation to create a purely hard rock resource.

Cochran said that the company is currently focused on drilling the Ongolo Alaskite and its satellite MS7 deposits to upgrade the resource before finalising the feasibility study on the Omahola project. It is expected that the feasibility study for Omahola will be completed by the end of this year.

The company is also investigating the possibility of improving the economics of its Tubas Red Sands uranium project with the advent of new technology. The technology is aimed at upgrading low-grade uranium sands by up to seven or eight times.

Cochran notes that the com- pany is also in discussions with uranium operations Langer Heinrich and Rössing regarding possible offtake for the preliminary Tubas Red Sands product once it has been upgraded.

“It is early days yet, but both projects are certainly willing to continue talking to us about it.

“We are really on the threshold, and are very well and excitingly positioned in the projects we have,” concludes Cochran.