A key environmental approval from the once fickle Australian government has given Mega Uranium (MGA-T) a boost.
The good news came out of Western Australia, where the company’s Maitland Lake project sits, as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the state approved the company’s environmental scoping document on the project.
The news coincides with renewed enthusiasm for uranium projects as the price of uranium trends towards the US$50 per lb level after wallowing the low US$40 per lb range for an extended period of time.
The company’s shares have climbed 15% to 77¢ since announcing the news on Oct. 25.
But the approval of the scoping document doesn’t mean it has cleared all of its environmental hurdles yet.
While the environmental scoping document identifies the key potential environmental impacts of the project, and defines the scope of the studies that need to be carried out, the company still has to complete an Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP).
The ERMP represents the highest level of assessment in Western Australia and has a public review period of 14 weeks
Mega says the report should be finished by the third quarter of 2011 and says the approval of the document is one of the last permitting stages before construction can begin.
Maitland Lake has indicated resource of 18.9 million tonnes grading 497 ppm U308 for 20.7 million lbs of U3O8 and another 1.9 million tonnes in the inferred category grading 374 ppm U3O8 for 1.6 million lbs of U3O8.
Mega acquired the project back in 2006 after it acquired the Australian public company, Redport.
The deposit was discovered by Asarco back in 1972, and was drilled by Mt Isa Mines and Esso Exploration Australia in the 1980s and 1990s and by Redport in late 2005.
The company says the resource is amenable to low cost open cut mining due to its flat single layer configuration, shallow position and a projected stripping ratio of 0.3:1.