Mineral resources company GoviEx Uranium had a busy 2022, which saw the company move closer to its goal of becoming a uranium producer, executive chairperson Govind Friedland and CEO Daniel Major note in a letter to stakeholders.
The company’s principal objective is to become a significant uranium producer through the continued exploration and development of its flagship mine-permitted Madaouela project, in Niger; its mine-permitted Mutanga project, in Zambia; and its multi-element Falea project, in Mali.
“Climate change issues are intensifying and there is growing recognition that nuclear energy remains a key part of the solution to achieve net zero. The uranium industry follows this momentum; however, increased demand is not met due to a lack of new entrants in the industry, harder permitting environments, the depletion of secondary supply, geopolitical tensions and demand for security of supply and diversification from offtakers.
“This puts us in an advantageous position, as we are fully permitted, operating in mining-friendly jurisdictions, with a multi-project pipeline and with production scheduled to start when there is an expected supply deficit in the market,” the executives outline.
Over the last 12 months, the company is said to have delivered “transformational” changes. Firstly, it published the feasibility study for Madaouela, which holds one of the largest uranium resources in the world, with 100-million pounds of uranium oxide in measured and indicated mineral resources, plus inferred resources of 20-million pounds of uranium oxide.
This mine permitted project has the potential to exceed 2.6-million pounds of uranium oxide a year over a 20-year mine life.
The feasibility study confirmed the strength of the project and its ability to deliver good economic results at a time when inflationary pressures are having a significant impact on the development of new projects and operating mines, the letter posits.
Following the delivery of the feasibility study, GoviEx has proceeded to engage with a number of financial institutions, supported by its debt adviser Endeavour Financial, for project-related debt financing.
“We are delighted with the initial results yielding a preliminary short-list of approximately 20 institutions who will now move forward with the detailed due diligence phase. These initial results are very encouraging and underline the strong potential to source debt financing for the Madaouela project,” the letter acclaims.
At Muntanga, a field programme that included 15 500 m of infill drilling was undertaken with the aim of upgrading the project’s Dibbwi East resource from inferred to the indicated category.
GoviEx also commissioned 9 000 m of diamond drilling to obtain core samples for uranium assays that are being used for confirmatory metallurgical test work.
The company has also started to update Muntanga’s environmental- and social-impact assessment and relocation action plan and will now aim to deliver a feasibility study for this project in 2024.
At Falea, GoviEx undertook a diamond drilling programme, with data showing targets with a strong correlation with known uranium mineralisation, which means the company now has a clear roadmap of targets for the future.
“Falea is a highly compelling and prospective polymetallic uranium, copper and silver deposit with surrounding gold, and we are pleased to have entered into an agreement with African Energy Metals for its sale as part of a $5.5-million deal, which will allow us to maintain a significant interest in the Falea project while allowing the company to concentrate its efforts and funding on the continued exploration and development of the Madaouela and Muntanga projects,” executives note.
The last 12 months also saw the publication of GoviEx’s first environmental, social and governance report.
“We have delineated a clear strategy focused on the financing of the Madaouela project, continued discussions with offtakers and to advance towards becoming a producer, while continuing to develop Muntanga and benefiting from the potential exploration upside at Falea,” the letter highlights.