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Aura Energy IMARC Presentation
Aura Energy Limited (ASX: AEE, AIM: AURA) (“Aura” or “the Company”) is pleased to present its IMARC presentation.
This article includes content from Aura Energy, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.
With a mission to responsibly produce low-cost uranium to meet the growing demand for decarbonized energy, Aura Energy (ASX:AEE, AIM:AURA) is focused on rapidly advancing its Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania, as it continues to transition from explorer to producer.
Uranium is the essential fuel for nuclear power, a sustainable, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Nuclear Power is one of the only scalable providers of baseload electrical supply as the world moves toward decarbonization, and will be vital in the future. In fact, growing support for nuclear power and diminishing uranium supply prompted the Bank of America to forecast spot prices to rise to US$70 per pound by 2023, adding that a loss of Russian supplies would make its forecast even more bullish. Additionally, the European Union has stated that nuclear power now qualifies as a green investment.
Aura Energy’s flagship Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania is well-positioned to achieve near-term production and has continued to meet development milestones. Supported by a stable jurisdiction and a mining-friendly government, the company recently released an updated enhanced feasibility study (EFS). The EFS confirmed that increased steady-state production to 2.0 million pounds (Mlbs) per annum U3O8 is possible based on upgraded mineral resource estimates. This increased production strengthens the financial metrics and demonstrates robust returns for shareholders over the life of the project. The exceptional economics of the Tiris Project deliver a post-tax NPV of US$226 million and a post-tax IRR of 28 percent.
The updated mineral resource estimate includes 113.0 Mt @ 236 ppm containing 58.9 Mlbs U3O8. The asset’s shallow, flat-lying surface mineralization and simple extraction method allow for low capital and operational costs.
In Europe, the company’s 100-per cent-owned Häggån Vanadium Project aims to support Sweden’s and Europe’s green energy transition. The asset has an inferred resource estimate of 15.1 billion lbs of vanadium and 800 Mlbs of uranium. Vanadium is primarily used in the steel industry, as an additive to make steel stronger and wear-resistant, and also plays a key role in an emerging new energy storage technology called vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB), which are typically used in grid-scale storage systems.
An experienced management team leads Aura Energy with expertise throughout the natural resources sector, including uranium project development, business development, international corporate finance and metallurgy. The team’s expertise supports the company’s near-term production and long-term growth goals.
- Aura Energy aims to be a responsible global producer of commodities supporting a clean, decarbonised energy future.
- The flagship Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania is poised for near-term production, with a recently released enhanced feasibility study (EFS) outlining low capital and operating costs, supported by a stable and mining-friendly jurisdiction.
- The EFS confirms an increase in forecast steady-state production to 2.0 million pounds (Mlbs) per annum U3O8 and strong financial metrics and robust returns for shareholders over the life of the project.
- The exceptional economics of the Tiris Project deliver post-tax net present value (NPV) of US$226 million and post-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 28 percent
- Tiris mineralization occurs at surface, can be accessed with free-digging open pit mining and simple beneficiation feed grade upgrades the ore to greater than 2,000 ppm U3O8 prior to leaching. All these characteristics contribute to the low capital and operating costs.
- The Company has a strong relationship with the Government of Mauritania who hold a 15 percent shareholding) and has been granted a 30-year mining convention to operate.
- Management plans have been submitted to the Mauritanian authorities as an important step towards the production and export of uranium oxide concentrates from Mauritania.
- Updated mineral resource estimate of 113 Mt @ 236 parts per million (ppm) containing 58.9 Mlbs U3O8
- This mineral resource estimate supports an initial 16-year project life
- Initial capital cost of US$87.9 million, and cost-efficient scalability for additional capital of US$90.3 million can deliver a 150-percent increase in production to 2.0 Mlbs per annum U3O8.
- Aura Energy’s 100-percent-owned Häggån Vanadium Project contains significant vanadium deposits, an essential mineral for the steel industry as well as for the development of vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) to support renewable energy technologies.
- An experienced management team with expertise throughout the mining industry is leading Aura toward its goals.
Tiris Uranium Project
The fast-tracked Tiris project is located in Mauritania, an African country home to major companies including Kinross, Exxon Mobil and BP. With an updated feasibility study reconfirming the project’s low capital and operational costs, Tiris is now a “shovel-ready” project with the potential to be the first uranium to come onto a new bull market.
The project has existing infrastructure that includes ports, train lines and direct road access to the asset. In addition, a completed resource estimate indicates significant deposits of uranium and vanadium.
The Mauritania Government recently granted a 30-year mining convention to Aura and remains supportive of the project and the positive contribution it will provide to the country.
Aura is continuing to pursue a net-zero emission uranium production at Tiris, with the initial study of scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions completed, clearly defining a net-zero emission pathway for the project.
- Ore reserve estimates and mineral resource estimates support an initial 16-year project life
- Initial capital cost of US$87.9 million, cost-efficient scalability for additional capital of US$90.3 million to deliver a 150-percent increase in production to 2.0 Mlbs per annum U3O8.
- Shallow, free-dig open pit mining with no crushing and grinding deliver excellent cash margins driven by an AISC of US$28.77 / lb U3 O8
- High-grade Tiris West and other resource areas have the potential for further expansion.
- Low-cost Mining Opportunities: The Tiris project is a shallow, flat-lying mineralization that allows for free digging, a low-cost open pit mining that does not require any drilling or blasting.
- Simple beneficiation with no crushing and grinding results in a feed grade of > 2000 ppm U3O8 with a 92 percent uranium recovery in the leach circuit.
- Front-end Engineering Design Underway
- Shovel-ready project moving towards production: Exploitation permit and ESIA both approved and key management plans submitted to Mauritania authorities for uranium export permit.
Aura Energy’s Häggån Project in Sweden contains a significant vanadium deposit and appears amenable to shallow mining. The company continues to engage with key government and stakeholders in Sweden with the goal of further advancing the project. Aura Energy plans to work towards exploration and development supported by revenue generated from the near-term Tiris Project.
- 100 percent owned World-Class Polymetallic Deposit containing:
- V2O5 - 14,900 Mlbs at 0.27 percent V2O5
- Ni –780,000 t at 312ppm Ni
- Zn – 1,170,000 t at 433ppm Zn
- Mo – 1,146 Mlbs at 200ppm Mo
- U3O8 – 800 Mlbs at 150ppm U3O8 (100ppm U3O8 cut-off)Community Engagement: Continued discussions and liaison with key government and stakeholders with the goal of advancing the project.
- Continued Development: Aura will continue to develop the project with further studies.
Phil Mitchell - Non-executive Chairman
Phil Mitchell has significant experience in mining M&A. He is the former head of business development and strategy at Rio Tinto, former CFO of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, member of the executive committee at Anglo American, and headed acquisitions for billionaire Robert Friedland’s company, HPX. As head of business development and strategy at Rio Tinto, he was responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s asset and commodity portfolio and was accountable for the M&A portfolio and divestments, in addition to the daily management of the BHP takeover proposal. As the CFO of Rio Tinto’s iron ore business, one the largest Australian business units, he oversaw all commercial aspects of the business including relationships with all JV partners and the government. He was also responsible for developing the strategic plan that dominated profitable expansion to support China’s growth.
David Woodall - Managing Director and CEO
David Woodall brings more than 30 years of international mining experience across technical,
managerial, consulting, executive and director roles. Woodall has held senior positions with Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, Newcrest Mining and Ivanhoe Mines, and has used his broad experience across the value chain at operational, corporate and board levels to maximize shareholder value. He has experience in managing large, geographically distant teams across multiple locations and different cultures (countries, unionized, aging workforce, new teams).
He is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a member
of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Patrick Mutz - Non-executive Director
Patrick Mutz is a former managing director and CEO of African-focused uranium company Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) and Alliance Resources (ASX:AGS). He holds uranium operational experience in open cut, underground, and in-situ mining and related processing. Mutz is the current managing director and CEO of Image Resources (ASX:IMA), which he drove into production to become a profitable mining company, with early repayment of debt. He has significant experience in transitioning companies from explorers to producers.
Warren Mundine - Non-executive Director
Warren Mundine is a prominent Australian independent thinker and thought leader in the mining sector and nuclear power space and has worked on numerous major resource projects for leading companies, including Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto, BHP and AGL Pipelines & Engineering Waanyi Downer Joint Venture. He is a former director of the Australian Uranium Association and currently the managing director and CEO of Nyungga Black Group Pty Ltd, an advisory consultancy, which holds controlling interest in several companies across a diverse range of industries including mining resource consulting. Previously, he was the host of Sky News and Win Television and is currently a director of Australian Government-owned television station, Special Broadcasting Services.
Bryan Dixon - Non-executive Director
Bryan Dixon has over 20 years’ experience in the resource sector as a chartered accountant building junior exploration companies into mining producers, with extensive experience in the management of public and listed companies, and joint winner of the Mines and Money Asia-Pacific Mining Executive of the Year in 2017. He has held numerous director and management roles with emerging resource companies and was founding manager of Blackham Resources (ASX:BLK), now Wiluna Mining Corporation (ASX:WMC). He held former roles with international accounting firm Resolute Limited and Archipelago Resources and specialized in project acquisition, exploration, feasibility, financing, development and operations of mining projects to production.
Will Goodall - Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Will Goodall has worked with Aura for over 10 years, has held the role of Aura’s principal metallurgist since 2018, acting CEO during 2022, and was responsible for delivering the Tiris Uranium Scoping and Definitive Feasibility Studies, and the Häggån Uranium Scoping Study. During his role as acting CEO, he rapidly built momentum towards expansion of the Tiris resource and preparation for uranium production. Goodall contributes over 20 years of experience in geometallurgy, mineral processing and hydrometallurgy across a wide range of commodities, contributing a strong mix of technical expertise and corporate experience.
Peter Reeve - CEO, Archaean Greenstone Gold
Peter Reeves has over 35 years in the Australian resources industry working as a metallurgist, and has held positions with Rio Tinto, Shell-Billiton, Newcrest and Normet Consulting, with seven years at JB Were as a resource specialist fund manager and resource corporate finance director, and former management consultant in South Africa. He was a former managing director and CEO of Ivanhoe Australia, which he co-founded with Robert Friedland, and has been a director of several junior mining companies. He is focused on the development of company strategy, commercialisation of projects, and alignment with the global investment and resources communities.