Extract Resources (EXT-T, EXT-A) expects that it would cost US$704 million to construct a 15 million-tonne-per-year sulphuric acid leach processing plant and open pit mining operation for its Rossing South uranium deposit in Namibia.
Extract says that the plant would produce 14.8 million lbs. U3O8 per year with operating costs at US$23.60 per lb.
These figures come from preliminary cost estimates released by the company. Extract is in the midst of completing a feasibility study for its Husab project, which includes the Rossing South deposit and the Ida Dome deposit.
Extract says the numbers in the preliminary estimates represent the base case study and that the purpose was to establish the general economic viability of the project.
The cost estimates look at building an open pit operation with an agitated leach tank process plant that the company expects will support a profitable operation over the span of 20 years.
The company is still doing metallurgical testing and engineering optimization that will include other options such as a heap leach component.
Rossing South includes two mineralized zones, with combined resources (including indicated and inferred) totaling 267 million lbs. U3O8.
Zone 1 has an indicated resource of 21 million tonnes grading 527 parts per million U3O8 for 24 million lbs. U3O8 and inferred resources of 126 million tonnes grading 436 ppm U3O8 for 121 million lbs U3O8.
Zone two has inferred resources of 102 million tonnes grading 543 ppm U3O8for 122 million lbs. U3O8.
Both zones are open along strike and at depth and the company believes that further exploration work will result in an increased resource estimate.
The project is located 5 km south of Rio Tinto’s 69%-owned Rossing uranium mine, which has been in operation for nearly three decades and produces 7% of global U3O8 supply.