Uranium resources at the Husab deposit in Namibia have been increased by 33%, making it the fourth largest uranium-only deposit in the world according to Extract Resources.
|Drill rigs at the Husab desposit (Image: Extract)
The new figures include maiden measured resources in zones 1 and 2 of 84 million pounds U3O8 (32,000 tU) at a grade of 510 ppm U3O8 and a 39% increase in indicated resources in zones 1 and 2 to 274 million pounds U3O8 (105,400 tU) at 440 ppm U3O8. Inferred resources at zones 1-5 have increased by 18% to 130 million pounds U3O8 (50,000 tU) at 340 ppm U3O8, including the definition of maiden inferred resources in zone 5. Figures are compliant with both the JORC code and Canadian NI43-101 guidelines.
The total global resource at the deposit is 33% up from August 2010 estimates and including the already defined resources at Ida Dome, 20km to the south, now stands in excess of 500 million pounds U3O8 (192,000 tU).
"We've got our sights
set on becoming the
in the world"
Extract Resources CEO
The revised estimates follow the evaluation of some 1725 drill holes as part of an ongoing mine optimisation and resource extension programme, launched following the definitive feasibility study released by Extract in April 2011. According to Extract managing director and CEO Jonathan Leslie, the company fully expects to convert the resource estimates to reserves. An updated reserve estimate is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2011, and an updated resource estimate is scheduled for the first half of 2012.
"The exciting thing about this project is the amount of ore we've yet to find," Leslie said in a broadcast announcement of the new figures. "We've got our sights set on becoming the second largest uranium-only deposit in the world," he added.
Husab, formerly known as Rössing South, is the highest grade granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia. An application for a mining licence was lodged with the Minister of Mines and Energy in December 2010, and in January 2011 the Ministry of Environment and Tourism gave environmental approval for the mine. Leslie confirmed that the company is in regular contact with the Namibian government while the licence application undergoes due process and expects a favourable response. Recent changes to Namibian mining policy on strategic metals including uranium will give state-owned Epangelo Mining Ltd control over new minerals developments but existing licences and applications are not affected.
Earlier this year, Extract confirmed that it was in discussion with Rio Tinto about combining the Husab project with the adjacent Rössing uranium mine to make the most of potential synergies from joint development. More recently, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Uranium Resources (CGNPC-URC) has put forward, then withdrawn, a possible cash offer to buy Extract's 42.79% owner Kalahari Minerals. In his broadcast comments, Leslie confirmed that talks respecting potential partnerships have been ongoing for the last several months and that interest remained strong from a "wide variety of stakeholders" without giving further details.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News