Bannerman Resources, based in Perth, Western Australia, has announced a fivefold boost in indicated resources at its Goanikontes deposit in Namibia. The overall resource estimate increased by 48%.
|Drilling at the Goanikontes deposit (Image: Bannerman)
The deposit is 30 km southwest of Rossing and with very similar geology. The new NI 43-101 compliant resource figures are 26,000 tU in 0.021% ore for indicated resources and 15,000 tU in 0.0197% ore for inferred resources in the "Anomaly A" area. Further prospects on the exploration lease are being drilled.
"We are delighted with this upgrade to the Anomaly A resource which now exceeds the original exploration target of 100 million pounds and still offers considerable scope for further resource expansion over the coming year," said Peter Batten, managing director of Bannerman Resources.
He added, "We are also pleased to see that there are very large amounts of metal present at the higher cut-offs. This indicates a strong potential for the project to sustain much higher head-grades over many years. This could have a significant impact upon production rates and the overall revenue generated by this first open pit."
The company is proceeding to a definitive feasibility study for mining, due for completion by March 2009, with the intention of producing a reserve statement, and possibly moving to mine production in 2011.
A preliminary study on mining the deposit was undertaken last year, and showed good prospects for an open pit mine producing 2500 to 3500 tU per year. A preliminary mine plan put production costs at around $60/kgU. Capital costs, including an acid plant, were estimated at $467 million.
Namibia has two significant uranium mines - Rossing and Langer Heinrich - capable of providing 10% of world mining output. The country's first commercial uranium mine, Rossing, began operating in 1976, while Langer Heinrich entered production in late 2006. Another significant deposit is Trekkopje, about 35 km north of Rossing. In 2007, UraMin Inc, which has since been acquired by Areva, announced an upgrade of uranium resources at this project.