Deep Yellow has teamed up with engineering heavy-weight Ausenco to oversee the latter half of the company’s Pre-Feasibility Study in Namibia. Ausenco will work closely with the company providing specialist process design, engineering, equipment lists and capital estimates as the company fast-tracks the development of its Tumas uranium deposits.
Deep Yellow has teamed up with engineering heavy-weight Ausenco to oversee the latter half of the company’s Pre-Feasibility Study, or “PFS” in Namibia. Ausenco will work closely with the company providing specialist process design, engineering, equipment lists and capital estimates as the company fast-tracks the development of its Tumas uranium deposits.
Deep Yellow’s ongoing development program at Tumas has revealed a bounty of uranium and vanadium mineralisation across three separate deposits within the project area, with exploration continuing to extend the company’s resource inventory through infill and extensional drilling.
The company beefed up its mineral resource estimate at Tumas in May to a hefty 108.2 million tonnes, up from 96.9 million tonnes a year ago, at 324 ppm uranium oxide. Combined, the Tumas deposits play host to more than 77 million pounds of uranium oxide.
The Tumas project is located on the west coast of Namibia in southern Africa and lies within the world-class Erongo uranium producing region that hosts the revered Rossing, Husab and Langer Heinrich uranium mines. Held by Deep Yellow’s wholly owned subsidiary Reptile Uranium, Tumas is located approximately 210km west of the capital Windhoek and 60km east of the country’s deep-water port at Walvis Bay.
The extensive deposits at Tumas are hosted within old river channels that lie beneath the Namibian desert with the uranium-vanadium mineralisation showing strong similarities to the ores at the nearby Langer Heinrich operations.
Deep Yellow launched into its PFS over the Tumas project in the first quarter of 2020, fortuitously timed to coincide with a 33 per cent spike in uranium prices from US$24 in March to peak above US$34 by June.
Rising uranium prices were foreshadowed by a report tabled by the World Nuclear Association in September 2019 which flagged a looming supply crunch and suggested prices may continue to trend higher.
Modelling by the global nuclear authority predicts the demand-supply curve for uranium is set to invert with demand outstripping supply from 2023 onwards and a significant undersupply developing by 2040.
Deep Yellow’s initial work contained in its PFS included infill drilling, bulk sampling, and first-pass metallurgical work to map out process routes and a path to production. In tandem with this program, the company has been undertaking the required hydrological test work and preparing the Environmental Impact Statement for the project to expedite the approvals process.
With the metallurgical test work showing outstanding beneficiation characteristics and uranium recoveries for the Tumas ores, Deep Yellow has teamed up with Ausenco to put together the engineering requirements for the developing operation for the completion of its PFS.
Ausenco is an Australian-based global consulting, engineering and project delivery group with an extensive range of expertise across various resource markets including the uranium sector where it has worked on a range of projects including the recommissioning of the Honeymoon Uranium Mine, Australia’s second in-situ recovery uranium mine, in South Australia
Ausenco will be assisting Deep Yellow by looking into the key processing and engineering requirements for the Tumas processing plant including a review of the process design to establish the capacity requirements of the beneficiation and leaching circuits. Ausenco will also conduct a review of the major equipment requirements and provide capital estimates for equipment supply and construction costs.
As part of its brief, Ausenco will deliver a Basis of Estimate and financial modelling for the proposed operation at the conclusion of its Tumas study that will form a key part of Deep Yellow’s overall PFS.
Deep Yellow’s PFS is due for delivery in December 2020 but this is a well-trodden path for the company’s management team having successfully delivered the famous Langer Heinrich mine to market in 2007. With Ausenco now on side, this project is certainly one to watch.
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