Study Confirms Rossing South Potential

Australian-based Extract Resources has released a preliminary capital and operating cost study for its Rossing South project in Namibia that supports the company’s contention that the project has the potential to become one of the world’s largest uranium mines. The report indicates that Rossing South can support an open-pit mining operation and agitated tank sulphuric acid leach processing plant having throughput capacity of 15 million mt/y and an annual production rate of 14.8 million lb of U3O8. Head grade is estimated at 487 ppm U3O8.

Capital costs to develop the Rossing South project are estimated at $704 million. Operating costs are estimated at $23.60 per lb U3O8. Mine life is projected at more than 20 years. Extract Resources Managing Director Peter McIntyre said, “This report represents our base case study, and we are continuing with our metallurgical testwork and engineering optimization that will consider other options, including a heap-leaching component.”

The Rossing South project is located about 55 km east of the coastal town of Swakopmund and only 5 km south of Rio Tinto’s Rossing uranium mine, which came into production in 1978. Paladin Energy’s Langer Heinrich mine is 30 km to the east. Equipment and materials for constructing and running the mine would be brought in through the deep-water port of Walvis Bay.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 07 -