Global Atomic Corporation (TSE:GLO) (OTCQX:GLATF), the uranium and zinc group, has unveiled the results of an optimized mine plan as the basis for a new preliminary economic assessment (PEA) at its Dasa Project in Niger.
The company’s new PEA comprises an optimized Phase 1 plan for a uranium mine at the Dasa Project. The plan is designed to be low in capital expenditures and is targeting profitable production over a 12 year mine life.
The company said it aims to upgrade the substantial mineral resources outside the Phase 1 mine plan to feed the larger Dasa Project.
The results of the PEA will be summarized in a technical report, which Global Atomic said it will file within 45 days.
The Phase 1 project is expected to generate an average annual steady-state uranium production of 4.4 million pounds. The initial capital costs are C$203 million, including 20% contingency.
“The study demonstrates that the Dasa Project can be a significant new supplier of uranium in the form of yellowcake even in this low uranium price environment,” Global Atomic CEO Stephen Roman said in a statement.
“Over the optimized Phase 1 mine plan, using a base case uranium price of $35 per pound, the operation generates an after-tax [net present value] (NPY8) of $211 million and an IRR of 26.6%, at an all-in sustaining cost of $18.39 per pound. This ranks our project in the lowest quartile of the global cost curve. If we apply a long-term uranium price of $50 per pound, the project IRR increases to 46.3% and the NPV8 to $485 million.”
The plan is to employ conventional underground mining and a processing technology similar to that used at the two existing uranium mines in Niger, Roman added. That will provide future access to the more than 200 million pounds of contained uranium in the mine’s deeper horizons.
The study proposes using what’s known as a sublevel blast-hole retreat with cemented paste backfill as a mining method on a 20-meter sublevel spacing.
The plan is targeting high-grade mineralization that starts from a depth of 70 meters below the surface that could position the company as the next entrant into the worldwide uranium supply chain.
“Despite current low spot prices, future uranium market fundamentals are encouraging, driven by robust demand for nuclear power generation and the pressing need for scalable low-carbon energy sources,” Roman noted.
“Primary mine-supply of uranium continues to dwindle and secondary sources of uranium are tightening. A lack of new projects scheduled to come online below a $50 per pound incentive price, means this is an opportune time to advance the development of the Dasa Project.”
The next step, Roman said, is to produce a Final Technical Report, the key mining permit application that the company will submit to the Niger government later this year.
If everything goes to plan, the endeavor will reduce the up-front costs necessary to complete a memorandum of understanding signed with Orano Mining back in 2017, in which Global Atomic agreed to supply 100,000 tons of uranium-bearing rock per year for at least five years to Orano’s operation in the region.
Overall, Global Atomic has six uranium exploration permits in the Republic of Niger, including the Dasa deposit, and its Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAFD) business in Turkey converts a waste product into zinc concentrate.
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