Etango mining licence renewed
By Hilary Mare
URANIUM group Bannerman Resources Ltd has said the Ministry of Mines and Energy has granted the renewal of the exclusive prospecting licence (EPL 3345) for the Etango project for an additional two years.
EPL 3345 is an exploration licence that contains potential satellite deposit targets for the company´s 95 percent owned flagship Etango uranium project. The Etango project is situated on the company´s adjoining Mineral Deposit Retention Licence 3345.
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, who have provided consistent support to Bannerman for more than a decade. Our company has operated in Namibia since 2005 and appreciates the extensive benefits of developing a project with government and community support in this leading uranium production jurisdiction,” Bannerman´s chief executive officer, Brandon Munro, said.
In addition to those uranium targets, Bannerman has identified prospective lithologies on EPL 3345 that may have potential for base metals targets and is currently continuing an infill soil sampling programme. This sampling enhances last year´s exploration activities which included obtaining and analysing more than 2000 soil samples on those lithologies.
As per the requirements of the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act, Bannerman has reduced the area of EPL 3345 by 25 percent.
Recently, Munro said the company offers investors an “outstanding” opportunity with its Swakopmund-based Etango uranium project as supply of the commodity has grown into an expanding deficit over the past few years.
He pointed out that global uranium consumption was about 180 million pounds a year and that there was a 20-million-pound-a-year deficit in the market at present.
He further noted that Covid-19 disruptions had affected two of the largest uranium-producing provinces of the world – Kazakhstan and Canada.
Munro stated that Bannerman’s Etango project held the key to addressing current and future uranium shortfalls, meeting future nuclear energy fuel demand, as well as replenishing uranium inventories, which were currently being depleted faster than they could be replaced.
Munro also expressed that nuclear power was still heavily relied upon in regions within the US, the European Union, China, Russia, India, South Korea and the Middle East, while there was no substitute for uranium used for nuclear power generation.
Production from the Etango project will go far to ensure current and future nuclear power stations are able to operate with sufficient fuel.
The Etango deposit was close to established infrastructure and was “globally significant” with its 271 million pounds of uranium contained in the resource, said Munro.
“It has a very low technical risk, and in many respects, is just like the Rossing uranium mine that has operated for 45 years,” he said.
Munro added that Namibia was an “excellent uranium jurisdiction with good social support and a good environmental regulatory regime and strong government development agendas at play”.
Etango had the concept of scalability built into the leverage offered to investors, he said, noting that the mine had more than 14 years of life, a throughout capacity of eight-million tonnes a year and an 87.8 percent processing yield.
Confidente has also reported that a scoping study for the eight-million-tonne-a-year Etango uranium project has shown that the project would have a mine life of approximately 14 years.