Aura targeting Tiris resource certainty with infill diamond drilling
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Aura has mobilised a diamond drill rig to commence a 10,000m infill program that aims to upgrade resources at its Tiris uranium project in Mauritania.
With a diamond drill rig already mobilsed to Tiris, the program, which is expected to kick off at the end of the month, will generate large diameter core in about 60 holes to validate the downhole radiometric logging results that the updated resource estimate will be based on and provide density data. This will support air-core drilling and down hole logging across key resource zones at Tiris.
Aura Energy’s (ASX:AEE) 2022 resource upgrade program seeks to move more of its 56 million pound U3O8, resource from the Inferred category to the higher confidence Measured and Indicated categories.
It will also seek to identify further exploration targets that could expand one of the lowest cost uranium projects in the world.
“By upgrading the Resource Estimate, in parallel with planned development and construction, we will add the opportunity to expand the Production Targets early in the mine life, following the commencement of production at Tiris from the fast-tracked 800 klb U3O8 per annum project,” acting chief executive officer Will Goodall.
Non-executive chairman Phil Mitchell added the resource upgrade aims to support the expansion of Tiris to between 3Mlb to 5Mlb U3O8 per annum within five years of initial production.
Tiris is already considered to be a robust uranium project which is viable at current pricing with low CAPEX of US$74.8M and estimated cash costs of just US$25.43/lb of U3O8. Potential expansion of production is expected to provide significant capital and operating cost efficiencies.
Uranium is currently priced at US$46.7/lb, which while down from its highs near US$65/lb in April, are still up 50% from 2021.
Adding further value, this does not include the vanadium contained within the project.
The company recently defined a 18.4 million pound resource after confirming a consistent vanadium (V2O5) to uranium (U3O8) ratio exists within carnotite minerals, the primary host of uranium mineralisation at Tiris.
And metallurgical testwork has already confirmed that the battery metal can be readily extracted with uranium at low additional cost, meaning that Aura’s numbers are likely even more conservative.
Aura remains well placed to be one of the first greenfields uranium producers with Tiris in a time where uranium demand is growing and supply under considerable pressure.
This article was developed in collaboration with Aura Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.