Enhanced feasibility study confirms near-term uranium production potential for Tiris
Aura Energy has released an enhanced definitive feasibility study (EFS) for its Tiris uranium project in Mauritania which confirms robust financial returns and near-term production potential.
The EFS benefits from the recently updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) to 62.2Mt grading 216 parts per million U3O8 at a 100ppm cut-off, or a contained resource of 29.6Mlbs of U3O8 confirms an increase in steady-state production by 150% from 0.8Mlbs to 2Mlbs pa U3O8.
The project now plans to deliver a life of mine production of 25.5Mlbs U3O8 – an 110% increase thanks to the recently updated measured and indicated resources.
The effect of this increased production is enhanced project economics, delivering a 180% bump in the base case NPV to US$226 million, and a base case IRR of 28%, with further capacity to improve as nearby resource growth is targeted.
Not to mention, the EFS flags excellent 57% cash margins from an AISC of US$28.77/lb U3O8.
“The EFS confirms the strong financial case for the Tiris Uranium Project,”
Aura Energy (ASX:AEE) MD Dave Woodall said.
“The Tiris Project is unique with its low capital intensity, low operating costs, competitive all-in-sustaining cost and key regulatory approvals in place.
“With a relatively short timeline for commercial production, the focus is now on the consideration of a Final Investment Decision (FID) as early as Q4 2023, which would see commissioning in late 2024 for commercial production in early 2025.”
Aura says the 18-month construction period will provide a rapid path to production following the FID.
The initial capital cost of the project is US$87.9m, with an additional capital of US$90.3m to produce 2.0 Mlbs pa U3O8.
But Woodall says what really differentiates the project is the ore quality that allows free-dig shallow open pit mining, an average depth of 4m.
“Aura does not require expensive drill and blast operations or capital-hungry infrastructure for crushing and screening,” he said.
“Following simple scrubbing and screening the project will have a leach feed grade of >2,000 ppm U3O8 resulting in a downsizing of the leaching circuit that drives competitive operating costs and creates a competitive advantage for Aura Energy in a strengthening uranium market.”
The company says using the Trade Tech Forward Availability Model (FAM) forecast pricing of US$79/lb U3O8, Tiris has an upside case NPV of US$347 million and an upside case IRR of 35%.
Further project optimisation will be investigated as part of the FEED study, including the recovery of the U3O8 and further engineering to optimise the production profile.
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.