Namibia is one of the world’s major producers of uranium. Due the rise in global consumption of uranium, uranium exploration and mining have been increasingly active in the country, with significant deposits that are currently being developed and mines that are in full operation.
Rio Tinto’s Rossing Uranium continued to operate at 70% capacity. The mine produced just over 2,751 t of uranium oxide in 2002. Rossing is one of the world’s fifth largest primary uranium mines and is situated close to the seaside town of Swakopmund. Rio Tinto holds a 69% equity interest in the mine. Although reserves are sufficient to last until 2020 at the present below-capacity production levels, the open pit would need to be enlarged to access additional ore, causing a large increase in volumes of waste rock and tailings deposits. This would have a significant environmental impact, and consultants have been engaged to conduct an assessment.
Paladin Resources has acquired the Langer Heinrich uranium deposit located southeast of Swakopmund. Paladin currently has a Mineral Deposit Retention License, which enables them to carry out further feasibility studies pending improvements in the uranium market. Previous project owners, Aztec Resources completed a pre – feasibility study over Langer Heinrich based on a spot uranium price of $11/lb. Paladin Resources reanalysed the entire project based on a uranium price just below critical US$10/lb level. The results of this pre-feasibility study were announced in February 2003, and indicated that Langer Heinrich contains a geological resource of 50 Mt averaging 0.06% U308, significantly higher than Rossing’s grade. The mineable resource was estimated to be 10.1 Mt at 0.11%, containing 11,200 t of recoverable uranium at a 344 ppm cut-off, and this forms the basis of the project prefeasibility assessment and financial modelling. Paladin described the project as robust at a price of US$14/lb uranium oxide with the mineable resource sufficient for a ten-year mine life producing 1,000 t/y U308 at a capital cost of US$37 million and a low operating cost of US$6.54/lb.
Langer Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd :[ Add More ]
Atlantic 1, Block 9, Block G – Namibia, Daberas, Diamond Area 1, Elizabeth Bay mine, Haib, Khusib Springs, Kombat, Marshall’s Fork, Navachab, Omaue Mine, Otjihase, Rosh Pinah, Rossing, Skorpion, Tantalite Valley, Tsumeb, Tsumkwe
Rio Tinto Plc
Rio Tinto have a 69% interest in the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia.
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