Toro Energy Limited (ASX:TOE) announced has received highly encouraging results from the geological modelling and mine planning studies currently underway at its 100% owned Wiluna Uranium Project.
As quoted in the press release:
Early results have shown that Wiluna, Australia’s most advanced uranium development project, can deliver an improved mining grade at significantly lower unit mining costs, leading to an improved set of project economics that could potentially accelerate mine development.
Pit design and inventory improvements have been driven by the 20% increase in mineral resources reported in October 2015 for Centipede and Millipede, the first two deposits to be mined at Wiluna. Encouraging results from the first phase of detailed optimisation studies at Centipede/Millipede include:
- A 12% increase in the grade of mining inventory material to above 1000ppm;
- A 31% decrease in the waste-to-ore strip ratio; and
- A 43% reduction in waste tonnes mined.
The mining inventory, including grades and contained U3O8, as well as volumes of material moved, are presented in Table 1. The increases to average mining grades, together with reductions in strip ratio and waste mined may have a material positive impact on the economics of Wiluna.
Toro Energy Managing Director, Dr Vanessa Guthrie, stated:
We know that Wiluna is one of the best and most advanced uranium developments in Australia, and this current phase of optimisation has shown us that there are significant opportunities to reduce the Wiluna cost base, bringing development closer as the current market recovery emerges.
These results show that Wiluna can produce uranium concentrate at lower overall costs. Based on these highly encouraging results we anticipate improvements in the head grade for the processing circuit leading to improved project economics. Having these results at Centipede/Millipede is particularly beneficial as these deposits are the basis of mining in the early years, which could make Wiluna even more attractive for development.
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