Bannerman completes scoping study for extended operations at Etango

19 March 2024

The study evaluates two future-phase options for a higher throughput and operating life post ramp-up at the project in Namibia.

(Image: Bannerman)

Bannerman Energy is currently advancing front end engineering and design, offtake marketing and strategic financing workstreams for its base-case development - Etango-8 - with a throughput of 8 million tonnes (Mtpa) per year. Etango-8 was the subject of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) completed in 2022.

The future options investigated in the new scoping study are: a post ramp-up expansion of throughput capacity to 16 Mtpa, referred to as Etango-XP; and an extension of operating life to 27 years, referred to as Etango-XT.

Etango-XP would see mine and plant throughput expanded to 16 Mtpa from its fifth operational year. Key outcomes for this scenario include a life-of-mine output of 95.2 million pounds U3O8 (36,618 tU) over 16 years, up from 52.6 million pounds over 15 years under the Etango-8 DFS; and an annual average output (post plant expansion) of 6.7 million pounds U3O8 (up from 3.5 million pounds for Etango 8). The cost for the expansion phase would be USD325M, with a life-of-mine average all-in-sustaining cash cost of USD42.5 per pound U3O8 (USD38.1 per pound for Etango 8).

Etango-XT would involve a life extension with mine and plant throughput maintained at 8 Mtpa. For this scenario, a life-of-mine output of 95.2 million pounds over 27 years is envisaged (the Etango-8 DFS envisaged 52.6 million pounds over 15 years), with an annual average output of 3.5 million pounds U3O8 (Etango-8: 3.5 million pounds), with no expansion phase capital expenditure and a life-of-mine average all-in-sustaining cash cost of USD45.3 per pound U3O8.

All Etango-8 cost estimates, including pre-production capex of USD320 million, remain materially unchanged.

Bannerman's core focus is still the development of Etango at an initial 8 Mtpa throughput scale, CEO Gavin Chamberlain said. The scoping study was done to demonstrate "the ready technical and financial viability" of expanding or extending the base case Etango operation following construction and ramp-up, he added. "As evidenced by the announced outcomes, the Scoping Study has categorically demonstrated this further growth optionality. In short, the long-term scalability of the world-class Etango resource remains highly robust under the base case Etango-8 approach to initial project development."

Bannerman Executive Chairman Brandon Munro said the scoping study "emphatically evidences … the significant underlying value residing in Etango’s huge in-ground leverage to, and scalability with, higher uranium price outlooks".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News