WA’s first uranium mine a step closer after Vimy gets tick of approval
Vimy Resources has taken a step towards becoming Western Australia’s first uranium mine after high-quality test results from Mulga Rock — one of Australia’s biggest undeveloped uranium resources.
Investors welcomed the news with the stock (ASX: VMY) climbing over 4 per cent to 12c in late morning trade, valuing the company at around $50 million.
Three international commercial converters — Cameco Corporation in Canada, NEW AREVA in France and ConverDyn in the USA — tested Vimy’s uranium ore concentrate (UOC) product samples. All confirmed high-quality product.
“This is the sort of quality assurance that a developer intending to get into production undertakes. It sends a message, if there were any doubt, that we are serious about being WA’s first uranium mine,” Vimy’s managing director Mike Young said.
In April, then resources minister for Northern Australia Matthew Canavan granted Vimy permission to export up to 6kg of UOC from Mulga Rock to uranium converters for testing and quality assurance purposes.
In layman’s terms, UOC, or yellowcake, is shipped to a uranium conversion plant where it undergoes further processing to become nuclear fuel.
The testing is a key part of quality assurances that nuclear utilities require before entering long-term sales deals.
The samples were produced during 2016 from Vimy’s pilot plant as part of the feasibility study. The yellowcake samples were chosen as being closest to the quality expected in final production.
Vimy received the go-ahead last December by the former Liberal-National government for Mulga Rock, one of Australia’s biggest undeveloped uranium resources.
It is located 240km north-east of Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia.
The project comprises 78.5 million pounds of uranium oxide and will have the capacity to produce 1360 tonnes per annum of uranium oxide for up to 17 years.
The project is expected to result in the creation of 490 new jobs and payments of around $19 millioon per year to the State government in royalty payments and payroll tax.