Lotus Resources has started the week on a high, with the initial phase of ore sorting testwork at its Kayelekera uranium project exceeding expectations.

Testwork on ~500kg of ore showed uranium grades increasing by up to 100% when compared to the feed sample.

Lotus (ASX:LOT) is confident the ore sorting has potential to both increase the feed grade and extend the life-of-mine through utilisation of low-grade ores as plant feed.

Testwork will continue and will be incorporated into the feasibility study which is expected to begin in Q3.

Potential to improve economic returns

“Ore sorting is not essential for the Kayelekera mine to recommence production, but this technology has the potential to improve the economic returns of the project, by reducing operating costs, increasing annual production and extending the mine life,” Lotus managing director Keith Bowes said.

“These initial results have exceeded our initial expectations, as the ore has been upgraded by as much as 100%, compared to the feed grade.

“This means for example that a 400ppm U3O8 marginal ore could be upgraded to around 800 ppm U3O8 in feed for the main plant.”

Current indications are that a single ore sorter for the project would cost between US$2-3 million.

Ongoing testwork will combine sensors

Bowes said the initial phase of testwork tested each sensor individually – with one sample using only the colour sensor and the other sample, using only the density sensor.

“Our next phase of testwork will look at combining the sensors (i.e., testing the colour and density sensors in the same run) to determine if it is possible to improve on these results further,” he said.

This second phase of testwork is expected to begin in late July.

Lotus is also undertaking some testing on the fines to see if this material can be upgraded with more traditional techniques e.g., flotation, gravity and size separation (desliming etc).

While this work is underway, new samples of the lower grade material, along with the other rock types treated at Kayelekera will be delivered for further testing.




This article was developed in collaboration with Lotus Resources 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.