Tiris levels up as yellowcake meets standards
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Uranium concentrates produced from Aura’s Tiris beneficiation pilot plant have been successfully used to produce yellowcake which meets ASTM international specifications.
The milestone marks the completion of the uranium recovery test work program at the ANSTO laboratory and is a clear sign that uranium produced from the Tiris project in Mauritania can be sold on the international market as a high-standard product without penalties.
It also further provides the impetus for Aura Energy (ASX:AEE, AIM:AURA) to continue to move towards near-term stage one production at the project, while opening the door to market discussions with leading nuclear utilities and converters.
“The successful production of yellowcake from material upgraded in the pilot plant is a significant step for Aura Energy,” managing director Dave Woodall said.
“It opens the door to commercial discussions with nuclear utilities, demonstrates the simple processing parameters required for uranium oxide production at Tiris and provides a strong technical basis for moving the project forward.
“This will allow us to focus on operating efficiencies as we progress to a final investment decision.”
Tiris is envisioned as a low capital and operating cost uranium producer thanks to the free-digging nature of its mineralisation that does away with the need for crushing and grinding.
Processing is also expected to be simple with only a modular process plant required.
Aura is targeting first production in 2024/2025 with the first stage to recover about 20% of the current contained resource of 56Mlbs of uranium.
A definitive feasibility study recently updated with 2021 capital estimates has already determined that Tiris will have low Capex of US$74.8m and C1 operating costs of US$25.43/lb of U3O8, with Aura continuing to work towards further improving the already attractive Tiris economics.
This includes the use of simple screening, which reduced the amount of material mass reporting to the leaching circuit by 80% while still containing about 90% of the uranium at 1,572 parts per million – an increase of about 550% from the mined grade.
That this upgraded material has now been found to be suitable for producing high-standard yellowcake means that the actual processing plant will benefit from working with higher quality material.
Upcoming work includes front-end engineering and design which is currently underway, resource expansion, and securing an export permit.
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.