Toro Energy Limited has issued an update that its extension study to the proposed Lake Maitland Uranium-Vanadium operation — located approximately 105 kilometres southeast of the Wiluna township in Western Australia and 730 kilometres northeast of Perth.
The study involves the evaluation of the incorporation of material from Toro’s 100 per cent owned Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede uranium deposits into a proposed processing operation at Lake Maitland.
Toro Energy Executive Chairman Richard Homsany said: “The uranium resources at Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede are strategically located and considerable, and need to be thoroughly evaluated for viability.
“The inclusion of additional material into the Lake Maitland uranium vanadium processing operation has the strong potential to add significant value to the Wiluna Uranium Project.
“One of our key aims is to strengthen the production schedule at Lake Maitland and to assess the potential to extend the potential processing of high-grade uranium resource well beyond the 7th year of production, as is presently the case for a Lake Maitland only operation,” said Homsany.
The uranium resources at Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede have been noted to be significant and needs to be evaluated for viability as additional material at any Lake Maitland uranium-vanadium processing operation.
The pilot plant design continues to result from the excellent estimated financial outcomes of the completed Lake Maitland Scoping Study — which excluded any upside from the inclusion of resources from the Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede deposits.
Strong potential exists to increase production at Lake Maitland with additional uranium resources from Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede.
The study will evaluate whether this extends the potential processing of high-grade uranium resource well beyond the seventh year — a standalone Lake Maitland operation is expected to process seven years of high grade material.
The extension study includes a pit optimisation of Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede to determine economic cut-off grades based on latest long-term prices, exchange rates, operating costs & processing recoveries.
Lake Maitland pit optimisation successfully increased potential production by 8Mlbs U₃O₈ and 11.9Mlbs V₂O₅ based on the below price assumptions.
Potential upside from the incorporation of Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede in the financial metrics of the Lake Maitland Scoping Study include:
- NPV8- pre-tax of A$610M approx.
- IRR 41% – Mine Life 17.5 years – Short Payback 2.5 years
- Total EBITDA $1,768.6M
- Average EBITDA $1.95M per week ($101M pa)
- Modest capex of US$140M plus 20% contingency and 15% EPCM allowance
- Low operating cost estimates for Life of Mine:
- C1 cash operating cost US$23.10/lb U₃O₈
- AISC of US$28.02/lb U₃O₈
- C1 US$15.84/lb U₃O₈ & AISC US$20.32/lb U₃O₈ first 7 years provide very strong margins
- Low average strip ratio of 1.17
- Annual average production 1.3Mlbs U₃O₈ and 0.7Mlbs V₂O₅
- Total production 22.8Mlbs of U₃O₈ and 11.9Mlbs of V₂O₅
SRK and metallurgical and processing engineers at Strategic Metallurgy prepared the Scoping Study for Lake Maitland.