Aura Energy adds vanadium to Tiris Project resource
Aura Energy announced a JORC-compliant resource estimate for 18.4 million pounds of vanadium contained within its Tiris deposits on Wednesday.
The AIM-traded firm is focussed on developing the low capital expenditure, low operating cost Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania,
It said the addition of vanadium to the Tiris resource estimate came after confirmation of a constant ratio of vanadium to uranium at Tiris in carnotite, a uranium vanadium potassium oxide mineral which is the primary host of uranium.
“The inclusion of vanadium in the resource estimates for Tiris gives Aura a wonderful opportunity to explore further operating cost reductions through addition of vanadium pentoxide as a by-product to uranium,” said acting chief executive officer Will Goodall.
“Test work on leaching of the uranium-bearing mineral at Tiris through the definitive feasibility study has shown that vanadium is recovered with uranium in the proposed Tiris leaching circuit.
“Additional test work is currently underway with ANSTO Minerals to recover leached vanadium to a vanadium pentoxide product.”
Goodall said that work would aim to demonstrate that vanadium by-product could be produced with “only minor additions” to the existing Tiris process circuit.
“The inclusion of vanadium by-product recovery has been explored in several other operations with similar mineralogy to Tiris, including Paladin Energy's Langer Heinrich operation, Namibia.
“It is anticipated to provide a strong driver to result in a net reduction in the already low operating costs of the project.
“This vanadium resource estimate provides the initial step to further optimise the low cost Tiris project and we are excited by the prospect of further enhancing the project in this way.”
At 1121 GMT, shares in Aura Energy were down 3% at 15.52p.