Global Atomic discusses plans for Niger uranium project

31 March 2020

Canada-based Global Atomic Corporation said yesterday it is in discussions with Orano Mining to deliver uranium-bearing rock from its Dasa project in Niger to Orano's Somaïr facility for processing. The company has changed its plans for the mine which it now intends to develop as an underground-only operation, and expects to release a preliminary economic assessment for the project within the second quarter of this year.

The Dasa deposit (Image: Global Atomic)

Announcing Global Atomic's 2019 annual results yesterday, Chairman, President and CEO Stephen Roman said the company's business continued "largely as normal" despite COVID-19. "The Dasa uranium project has advanced and we look forward to publishing the results of the Optimised PEA next quarter which will give the market a clear understanding of the project’s economic potential," he said. Environmental impact and hydrogeology studies are now underway in preparation for the submission later this year of a mining permit application to the government of Niger, which it anticipates it will receive in 2021.

According to mineral resource estimates released last July, Dasa has indicated resources of 101.6 million pounds U3O8 (39,080 tU) at a 1752 ppm cut-off and inferred resources at 87.6 million pounds U3O8 at 1781 ppm, an increase of 81%. At that time, the company had envisaged that Dasa would be mined initially by open-pit and then by underground mining once a certain depth had been reached. After completing various "trade-off" studies it has now concluded that development of an underground mine would be more efficient and profitable than an open pit mine. The proposed development plan is now for a high-grade underground mine with a standalone plant using conventional processing techniques, the company said.

The company in 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Orano Mining to supply a minimum of 100,000 tonnes of uranium-bearing rock to Orano's operations in Arlit, about 100 kilometres north of Dasa. A successful conclusion to the ongoing discussions would reduce the initial capital needed to bring Dasa into production,Global Atomic said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News