A ten-fold increase in the resource estimate at Extract Resources' Rössing South in Namibia now makes the deposit the world's sixth largest known uranium deposit, the company reported.
Extract - based in Perth, Australia - said that a new resource estimate for Zones 1 and 2 of its Rössing South deposit shows an indicated resource of 241 million tonnes of uranium at an average grade of 480 parts per million (ppm) U3O8. In addition, Extract said that inferred resources for Rössing South Zones 1 to 4 were 125.5 million tonnes of uranium at an average ore grade of 400 ppm U3O8.The figures, at a 100 ppm U3O8 cut-off, are compliant with the JORC and NI 43-101 standards.
|A drilling rig at Rössing South (Image: Extract Resources)
An earlier resource estimate for Zones 1 and 2, announced in July 2009, put inferred resources at 249 million tonnes of uranium at an average grade of 487 ppm. Indicated resources for Zone 1 at that time were put at 21 million tonnes.
In a statement, Extract said that since July 2009 "the drilling effort has been successful in both the conversion of resources from inferred to indicated status and growing resources in Zones 1, 2, 3, and 4." It added, "Indicated and inferred resources (total resources) grew by approximately 37% for all four zones. Indicated resources now account for 70% of the total resource."
The company launched the Rössing South feasibility study in April 2009 to be completed in two parts, a pre-feasibility study followed by a definitive feasibility study. Extract earlier said that once the definitive feasibility study is completed the information would be sufficient to enable it to source finance for developing the project.
"The size and grade of the new resource confirms Rössing South as one of the most significant uranium discoveries made in the last decade, and establishes it as the largest in-situ and highest grade, granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia." Extract added, "The increased resource underpins the company's next milestone, which is the completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS), and takes Extract another step forward from a successful explorer to becoming a major uranium producer."
The Rössing South deposit lies about seven kilometres away from the Rio Tinto-controlled Rossing mine and is part of Extract's Husab Uranium Project, which also contains the Ida Dome uranium deposit.
Jonathan Leslie, Extract's managing director, commented: "The resource upgrade at Rössing South is a significant step forward for the company and for the Husab Uranium Project. We have further defined one of the world's largest uranium resources which supports the scheduled completion of the definitive feasibility study in Q4 2010 and, in time, the development of a world-class mine."
He added, "We also expect that the resource base will continue to increase with on-going drilling. Once in full production, the Husab Uranium Mine is expected to become the second largest producer in the world."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News