Fuel cycle roundup #15

18 October 2013

Environmental permit for Retortillo

Berkeley Resources has been granted the environmental licence for the Retortillo deposit in western Spain by the regional government of Castilla and León. It covers all mining and processing activities, including treatment of loaded resin transported to Retortillo from other deposits. The company plans to use a biological heap leaching method to recover the uranium.

Berkeley noted that approval of its exploitation and reclamation and closure plans is now the only outstanding prerequisite for the granting of the mining licence for Retortillo. The deposit, together with the Santitad and Gambuta deposits, forms the company's Salamanca Project.

Wiluna resource upgrade

Toro Energy has announced a resource upgrade at its Wiluna uranium project under development in Western Australia. Total measured and indicated JORC-compliant resources for Wiluna now stand at 25.2 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 551 parts per million (ppm) for 30.6 million pounds of U3O8 (13,880 tU) at a 200 ppm cut-off. This represents a 75% increase from the previous 2012 estimate.

The Wiluna project comprises the Centipede, Lake Way and Millipede uranium deposits. Toro has already secured environmental permits for the Lake Way and Centipede deposits, which are expected to come into production in 2016.

More Namibian resources for Forsys

Canada-based Forsys Metals has completed a resource update for its Norasa uranium project in Namibia, comprising the Valencia and Namibplaas deposits. The NI 43-101 compliant update raises measured and indicated resources to 103 million pounds U3O8 (46,722 tU) from 94 million pounds U3O8 (42,640 tU). The average grade has increased by 13% to 197 ppm from higher cut-off grades of 100 ppm at Valencia and 170 ppm at Namibplaas.

The fully-permitted Valencia deposit is under development, while exploration work continues at the nearby Namibplaas deposit.

A-Cap boosts Botswana resources

A-Cap Resources has announced a JORC-compliant upgrade of the indicated and inferred uranium resource at its Letlhakane Project in Botswana. At cut-off grades of 250 ppm and 300 ppm, the grade has increased to 378 ppm and 447 ppm for 115 million pounds U3O8 (52,165 tU) and 82.5 million pounds U3O8 (37,423 tU) respectively. The previous high grade resource at 200ppm has increased by 80% to 168 million pounds U3O8 (76,207 tU) at an increased grade of 8.5% to 308 ppm.

Australia-based A-Cap is in the process of completing a bankable feasibility study at Letlhakane. The company noted, "A startup date in 2017 coincides with projected shortfalls in supply and forecast increased uranium prices."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News