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Forsys reaches feasibility for Norasa project in Namibia
Forsys Metals TSX:FSY released feasibility details on March 18 for its Norasa property, consisting of the Namibplaas project and the fully permitted Valencia project. Located in west-central Namibia about 80 kilometres from the coastal town of Swakopmund, Norasa’s now forecast for improvements in tonnage, production and operating costs, the company stated.
Giving all figures in U.S. currency and using an 8% discount rate, the study pegs the after-tax NPV at $383.4 million with a 26% after-tax IRR. Capex would require $432.8 million with payback in 4.4 years. The first five-year forecast sees sales of 25.8 million pounds U3O8, while the 15-year mine life total would come to 77.8 million pounds.
Life-of-mine extraction and processing costs were estimated at $34.72 a pound.
The company provided total reserves for Norasa’s three pits—Valencia, an adjacent small satellite and Namibplaas—using a 0.01% cutoff for Valencia and 0.014% for Namibplaas:
- proven: 16 million tonnes averaging 0.02% for 7.1 million pounds U3O8
- probable: 190 million tonnes averaging 0.02% for 83.6 million pounds
The reserve total of 90.7 million pounds represents a 14.8% increase over 2013 numbers, most of it coming from Namibplaas’ 10.7-million-pound contribution.
The reserves are included in Norasa’s resource estimate, which uses the same cutoff grades:
- measured: 16 million tonnes averaging 0.02% for 7.1 million pounds
- indicated: 249 million tonnes averaging 0.0196% for 108 million pounds
- measured and indicated: 265 million tonnes averaging 0.0197% for 115 million pounds
- inferred: 26 million tonnes averaging 0.02% for 11 million pounds
Assuming financing, the study’s predicated on a schedule of about 24 months from the start of detailed engineering to the beginning of plant production. “We believe that the study results will attract strategic partners and investors, and provide us with alternatives for the next phase of Norasa’s development,” said Forsys CEO Marcel Hilmer.
Ranked fifth for global uranium production, Namibia produced 3,605 tonnes U3O8 last year, according to the World Nuclear Association. The country’s two operating uranium mines consist of Langer Heinrich, held 75% by Paladin Energy TSX:PDN and 25% by China National Nuclear Corp; and Rossing, held 68.6% by Rio Tinto NYE:RIO, 15% by the Iranian government’s Foreign Investment Co, 10% by South Africa’s Industrial Development Corp and 3% by Namibia. Chinese-owned Taurus Minerals has another Namibian mine, Husab, scheduled for production late this year.
Mongolia owes Khan US$100 million for cancelling project
Its 2009 decision to revoke uranium licences leaves Mongolia in debt to Khan Resources CSE:KRI for about US$100 million, the company announced March 2. A tribunal constituted under rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law came to the “final and binding” decision, Khan stated.
The company said the panel based its US$80-million-plus-interest award largely on previous offers to buy Khan’s Dornod project in northeastern Mongolia, especially a 2010 offer by China National Nuclear Corp, sometimes known as “China Inc.”
Noting that cancellation of Khan’s licences followed nuclear energy legislation enacted in 2009, the International Policy Digest commented, “It is speculated that Russian companies were interested in entering the uranium sector in Mongolia and pressured the government to pass the nuclear energy law and attack the competition, especially since the law came right on the heels of an announced joint venture to mine uranium between the Russians and Mongolians.”
If the country doesn’t pay, Khan vowed to pursue collection “pursuant to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958), a multilateral treaty to which Mongolia is a signatory.”
Skyharbour ready to drill Falcon, WASP field work underway at Preston
With drill permits in hand, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH announced on March 11 that a rig will soon begin work on the southeastern Basin Falcon Point project. Five or six holes totalling about 1,500 metres are planned around the Fraser Lakes B zone.
The 79,003-hectare property came with a 2012 resource for the zone, using a 0.01% cutoff to show:
- inferred: 10.35 million tonnes averaging 0.03% U3O8 and 0.023% thorium dioxide for 6.96 million pounds U3O8 and 5.34 million pounds ThO2
Late last month the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $1.25 million.
Skyharbour also acts as project operator on the Western Athabasca Syndicate’s Preston project, where a ground-based gravity survey began earlier this month over the property’s FIN, FSA and Dixon areas. March and April are slated for additional RadonEx surveys over the FSA, Swoosh, FIN and Canoe targets, as well as a ground EM survey.
With 246,643 hectares of turf, Preston comprises the largest PLS-proximal property. Other syndicate members are Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and, having quietly changed its name and stock symbol, Rojo Resources TSXV:RJ, formerly known as Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY.
Late last month Noka closed a $544,500 private placement.
Uranium Standard to buy historic Oregon resource
A purchase agreement with ASX-listed Energy Ventures would give Uranium Standard Resources TSXV:USR the Aurora project, a 2,260-hectare Oregon property with an historic resource. Although the estimate was completed in 2011, further drilling will be needed to bring it to 43-101 standards, according to Uranium Standard’s March 2 announcement. Nevertheless, the non-43-101 showed:
- indicated: 65.7 million tonnes averaging 0.0253% for 36.7 million pounds U3O8
- inferred: 3.6 million tonnes averaging 0.0151% for 1.2 million pounds
The indicated category included a higher-grade zone in the historic deposit’s upper part showing 18.4 million tonnes averaging 0.0444% for 18 million pounds.
Subject to approvals, the deal would cost Uranium Standard US$1.51 million, 500,000 shares and 500,000 warrants priced at C$0.20 for a year. The vendor would retain a 2% NSR, which Uranium Standard could buy back in increments of one-half at US$1 million each.
GoviEx submits environmental application to Niger government
An environmental and social impact assessment for its Madaouela project is now with Niger’s government, GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU announced on March 10. Should the decision be positive, a mining permit application could follow in early Q3, the company added.
Strateco to switch trading platforms, focus on Quebec lawsuit
For a while the company was looking at projects outside Quebec and a deal with an ASX-listed company. But on March 19, stating it “no longer has any exploration projects,” Strateco Resources TSX:RSC announced its intention to delist from the TSX and seek another trading platform. The company plans to focus its efforts on a $190-million lawsuit against Quebec, following the province’s refusal to allow continued work at Strateco’s Matoush project.
Alpha flies geophysics over Hook, Kelic and Carpenter lakes, finishes Middle Lake drilling
Airborne geophysical surveys have finished on Hook Lake, Kelic Lake and Carpenter Lake, Alpha Exploration TSXV:AEX announced March 12. All three properties underwent gravity gradiometry, while Kelic and Carpenter also got radiometric surveys. Results, expected within weeks, will help define drill targets.
Two days earlier Alpha announced completion of a 17-hole, 1,850-metre winter program at Middle Lake, adjacent to the western Basin’s former Cluff Lake mine. No significant radioactivity was found. The company will evaluate future exploration after studying assays with previously compiled data.
Glenmark Capital has Carter Lake geophysics reviewed
A geophysical “re-interpretation study” has been finished on the Carter Lake project, Glenmark Capital TSXV:GLM reported March 17. The study identified 12 target areas on the 1,113-hectare property in the Basin’s southwest.
Each of the target areas has “the potential to be caused by clay alteration, graphitic conductors or fault zones within the basinal sandstone units and/or underlying basement rocks, all of which offer compelling targets for potential uranium mineralization,” the company stated.
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