Paladin Board Green Lights Langer Heinrich Restart Study

Production ceased at the mine in 2017 due to depressed uranium prices, which made ongoing extraction uneconomical.

After shuttering the Langer Heinrich uranium mine in August 2018, Paladin Energy’s (ASX:PDN) board has approved a prefeasibility study aimed at restarting the asset.

Production ceased at the mine, located in the Namib Park region of Namibia, in 2017 due to depressed uranium prices, which made ongoing extraction uneconomical.

As U3O8 prices began to recover in the latter half of 2018, the company, which has 100-percent ownership of the project, began looking into ways to restart with lower overhead costs.

A concept study was commissioned by Paladin to examine lower-cost production options while also maintaining cost competitiveness.

The results were positive and indicated a variety of ways operating costs could be reduced. The study also included a proposal for the recovery of saleable vanadium — a by-product of uranium production — to bring costs down.

In addition to the cost-cutting proposals put forward, the concept study allotted a budget for repairs and upgrades to the Namibian mine.

Initial funding for the restart is expected to total US$100 million, including US$24 million earmarked for plant repairs and improvements, and US$4 million for the construction of a tailings facility.

“The study identified improvements to resolve known processing issues we have encountered in the project’s life to date and also to make well considered, low cost investments in the rapid restart option,” CEO Scott Sullivan said in the company’s announcement.

“This includes some necessary repairs and equipment replacement, scheduled tailings dam construction, additional surge capacity to increase process stability, process control system upgrade and deployment of a comprehensive management operating system which have been implemented in many operations in Australia to great effect.”

According to the concept study, the mine could be restarted relatively quickly when uranium prices strengthen. Currently the U3O8 spot price is US$28.65 per pound, a slight decrease from the US$28.90 high it hit at the end of January.

The next step towards restart will be the two-part prefeasibility study, which is set to begin in March.

“The PFS would also examine Langer Heinrich’s capacity to produce a saleable vanadium product as a way of increasing the project’s long-term value,” added Sullivan. “As a co-product credit this would effectively lower Langer Heinrich’s cost of uranium production.”

The Namibian mine could be back in full production as early as mid-2021. This would be welcome news for the local economy, which relies heavily on the uranium industry for direct and indirect employment.

Even though low prices have kept Langer Henrich on care and maintenance for the past several months, both India and China are interested in sourcing uranium from Namibia, a fact that Paladin must factor in when considering a potential restart.

Company shares were down 5.26 percent on Tuesday (February 26), trading at AU$0.18.

Image courtesy of Paladin Energy.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Resolution Minerals Ltd Drilling Program at Sunrise Gold Prospect Completed

Adelaide, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Resolution Minerals Ltd (ASX:RML) (FRA:NC3) is pleased to announce that it has completed the Company’s first drilling program on the Sunrise Gold Prospect at the 64North Project in Alaska. Drilling was conducted along an existing access road, targeting outcropping granite hosted mineralisation, analogous in style to Kinross’s Fort Knox Gold Mine, which is one of Alaska’s most profitable mines. The Sunrise Prospect was identified in 2020 by a RML trenching program and is located less than 5km from Northern Star’s operating Pogo Gold Mine.

Summary

– A 1400m long “fence line” of 27 shallow RAB drill holes designed to test outcropping mineralisation at the Sunrise Prospect has been completed.

Keep reading... Show less

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: The End of a Sparkling Era

Pink and red diamonds are among the most special gems in the world. The value of these highly sought-after natural stones speaks for itself, but their rarity has arguably increased since the closure of Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) Argyle mine.

The asset, which ceased mining activity on November 3, 2020, had been in operation since 1983. In that time, 865 million carats of rough diamonds were produced.

The unique geological chemistry of the Western Australia location birthed the rarest hues, including champagne, cognac, blue, violet and of course, the coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. Millions of carats of white diamonds were produced at the prolific property as well.

Keep reading... Show less

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: The End of a Sparkling Era

Pink and red diamonds are among the most special gems on earth. The value of these highly sought-after natural stones speaks for itself, but their rarity has arguably increased since the closure of Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) Argyle mine.

The asset, which ceased mining activity on November 3, 2020, had been in operation since 1983. In that time, 865 million carats of rough diamonds were produced.

The unique geological chemistry of the Western Australia location birthed the rarest hues, including champagne, cognac, blue, violet and of course, the coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. Millions of carats of white diamonds were produced at the prolific property as well.

Keep reading... Show less

Graphite Metallurgical Test Work Update

Highlights:

  • Bulk sample of Springdale graphite concentrate estimated to be completed in Q2 2021.
  • Concentrate material will then be sent to Germany to test its amenability for the production of battery anode material suitable for use in EVs.
  • Final test results expected in Q3 2021.

Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL) is pleased provide an update on ongoing test work on natural flake graphite from its Springdale Graphite Project (Springdale) located in Western Australia. Both excellent grade and recoveries were achieved on initial tests, leading to commencement of work to produce a bulk sample for further testing. Importantly, the graphite concentrates previously produced demonstrated a unique and potentially very valuable characteristic in its small size distribution, with two-thirds of the product passing the 38 µm size fraction screen. Generally, this small size fraction of graphite is a by-product of processing of larger flake fractions, which produces smaller size graphite, but in doing so also damages the smaller flake material in the process, reducing their performance and value. Deposits that contain high quality ultra-fine graphite are uncommon and are potentially suitable for supplying the expanding battery anode market, which continues to grow as the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increase. Graphite suitable for battery anode production also achieves premium pricing in graphite markets, making it a highly sought-after product.

Keep reading... Show less

Medallion Completes Diagnostic Testing with Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization

Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: MDL; OTCQB: MLLOF; Frankfurt: MRDN) “Medallion” or the “Company”) announces completion of a suite of diagnostic test work at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) in Sydney, to extract rare earth elements (REE) from mineral sand monazite. The monazite was sourced from an Australian mineral sand mine. Discussion is ongoing with additional prospective suppliers.

Mineral sand monazite is an abundant REE-rich feedstock, that can be accessed as a by-product from global mineral-sand mines that target zirconium and titanium, without the need for additional mining. Medallion’s business model is centered on the Medallion Monazite Process , a transferable and scalable technology designed to accept multiple mineral-sand monazite feedstocks and extract high-value REEs with high efficiency, high recovery and zero liquid waste.

Keep reading... Show less

Top News

Related News