Aura Energy Limited has upgraded the mineral resource for its Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania. Results exceeded expectations with an increase of 6.1% to 52 million pounds of U3O8, a compound of uranium.
Significantly, the resource includes 17 million pounds of U3O8 in the measured and indicated categories at a cut-off of 100 ppm.
There is good resource continuity and mineralisation from the new Hippolyte South exploration area is included in the update.
“Our objective was to upgrade approximately 7 million pounds of contained U3O8 to the measured and indicated categories, so the achievement of 17 million pounds has exceeded this by a wide margin providing potential for more than 17 years mine life.
“The resource contribution from our new exploration area Hippolyte South was very encouraging as was our resource experts highlighting the ore body continuity, an important aspect for our future development plans.”
The uranium resources occur in nine separate deposits in exploration permits held 100% by Aura. The resource upgrade drilling focused on four of these deposits - Lazare North and South, Hippolyte and Hippolyte South - in the area where initial mining is proposed.
Aura is conducting a definitive feasibility study on the calcrete uranium project.
The project has low operating costs and low development capital with strong financial returns under long-term pricing scenarios.
Aura slowed progress on the DFS during the March quarter to preserve cash, however, important steps were still taken for completion of the resource upgrade, metallurgical bulk sampling planning and project engineering.
As well as the resource upgrade, a significant program of trenching and bulk-sampling has been undertaken on the Lazare South and Lazare North deposits at the project site since the end of March.
From this program, sufficient material for all remaining process development test work will be generated.
In addition, a program of geometallurgical tests was undertaken to assess variability of the upgrade factor in the beneficiation washing tests. The results will be available this quarter and will provide inputs for modelling of processing domains within the Lazare South and Lazare North Resources.
Aura also remains enthusiastic about its gold and base metals strategy in Mauritania
despite significant delays in granting of the tenement applications.
The company paid the first-year rentals for these prospects in mid-2017 and continues to discuss the delayed tenement grant with the Mauritania Government, which has advised Aura that its tenement applications will be granted soon.
The company believes these are exceptional prospects which could deliver Aura multiple projects.