New Uranium Mining Projects - Etango (formerly Goanikontes), Namibia
(last updated 17 Jul 2012)
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Etango uranium mine project receives environmental approval
On July 17, 2012, Bannerman Resources Limited announced that its Namibian subsidiary has received environmental approval for the Etango Uranium Project from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism. This complements the environmental approval received last year for the Etango Project's off-site infrastructure.
Namibian State-owned Epangelo acquires stake in Etango project
Bannerman Resources has agreed to sell a 5% stake in its 80%-owned Namibian subsidiary, Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia (BMRN) to Namibian State-owned mining company Epangelo for about A$3.9-million.
Epangelo has also agreed to acquire a further 5% interest in BMRN if a development decision is taken on the Etango project.
Epangelo has four months to obtain the necessary acquisition finance from the Development Bank of Namibia or another financing institution acceptable to BMRN's shareholders, and then acquire BMNR shares.
(Mining Weekly May 18, 2012)
Positive results from Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) reported for Etango Uranium Project - provided that uranium price increases significantly...
On April 10, 2012, Bannerman Resources Ltd reported positive results from the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its 80%-owned Etango Uranium Project in Namibia: the DFS confirms the viability of the long life and large scale Etango Project.
The DFS assumes a base case uranium price of US$ 75 per lb U3O8 and determines a breakeven uranium price of US$ 61 per lb U3O8, which is much higher than the current spot market price of US$ 51.25 per lb U3O8, and even above the current long-term price of US$ 60.
The DFS was actually released on May 24, 2012.
> Calculate mine feasibility
Draft Amendment ESIA Report on expanded plans for Etango uranium mine project finally available for public comment
The draft amended ESIA that was to be released on March 19, 2011 (see below), finally was made available for public comment on January 30, 2012.
Submit comments before February 29, 2012.
> Download Draft Amendment ESIA Report: A. Speiser or ERM
Chinese takeover bid for uranium explorer Bannerman Resources, majority owner of Etango deposit in Namibia
China is poised to unveil a [A]$140 million-plus bid for Perth explorer Bannerman Resources to secure a foothold in one of the hottest addresses for uranium in the world.
Details of the cash takeover proposal are expected to be announced to the Australian Securities Exchange today.
Bannerman's 80 per cent-owned Etango deposit lies in the same resources-rich region of Namibia that hosts Husab as well as Rio's Rossing mine and Paladin Energy's Langer Heinrich operation.
However, Etango's economics are less certain than its neighbours because the deposit is low grade.
(Sydney Morning Herald July 11, 2011)
Feasibility study commissioned for Etango uranium project
AMEC Minproc will conduct a definitive feasibility study for Bannerman Resources' Etango uranium project. The study will focus on the development of a 5-7 million pounds per annum U3O8 [1920-2700 t U/a] open-pit mining operation.
(AMEC Minproc June 30, 2011)
Public comment invited on unreleased (!) ESIA and ESMP on expanded plans for Etango uranium mine project
Main changes to the mine's plans:
The draft amended ESIA and ESMP were announced to be on the websites between 19 March and 1st April, 2011 on www.asecnam.com and www.erm.com/bannerman_etango , but as of 28 March, still only a draft Public Consultation and Disclosure Plan had shown up.
Public meetings were held on Feb. 23, 2011 (Windhoek) and Feb. 24, 2011 (Swakopmund).
- Life of Mine increased to more than 20 years
- Northwards expansion of Anomaly A pit incorporating Oshiveli & Onkelo deposits to a point 1.5km from the Swakop river
- Waste rock dumps to be expanded
- Expanded Heap leach residue facility; and
- Location of processing plant shifted 1.5km west
The public consultation period ran until 10th March 2011 (!).
Comments on the draft Etango Project Public Consultation and Disclosure Plan are now welcomed by April 14, 2011 - (comment period extended).
> Download: Etango Project Public Consultation and Disclosure Plan, Draft 4, March 2011: ERM · A.Speiser (1.1MB PDF)
> Download: The Etango Project - The proposed uranium mine, Background Information Document for the Amendment to the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Environmental and Social Management Plan of 2009: ERM · A.Speiser (551k PDF)
Public comment invited on delayed ESIA on Linear Infrastructure of Etango uranium mine project
A draft ESIA for the Linear Infrastructure was announced to be on the websites between 19 March and 1st April, 2011 on www.asecnam.com and www.erm.com/bannerman_etango , but actually it showed up on March 28, 2011, only.
Public meetings were held on Feb. 23, 2011 (Windhoek) and Feb. 24, 2011 (Swakopmund).
Comments are welcomed by April 14, 2011 - (comment period generously extended from one to two weeks).
> Download: Etango Project: Linear Infrastructure Environmental Impact Assessment,
Environmental Impact Report, March /April 2011: ERM (4MB PDF) · A.Speiser (8.1MB PDF)
> Download: The Etango uranium mine project, Linear Infrastructure Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Background Information Document: ERM · A.Speiser (459k PDF)
Feasiblity of Etango uranium mine project apparently extremely tight; size of open pit casually doubled
On Dec. 1, 2010, Bannerman Resources Ltd released interim results from its ongoing feasibility study on the Etango uranium mine project, showing that the project will only be just feasible at uranium prices such as the current spot market price of approx. US$ 60/lb U3O8.
> Calculate mine feasibility
In the same release, Bannerman Resources Ltd stated:
"The ultimate pit dimensions for the Etango deposit pit are approximately 6km long by 1km wide, with a maximum depth of approximately 400 metres below surface" (emphasis added).
In the draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment issued for public comment in October 2009, the length had been stated as 3 km (see below).
Draft EIA Scoping Report for the ancillary linear infrastructure for the Etango uranium mine project available for public comment
The planned gigantic multi-billion-dollar investment in the Etango uranium mine near Goanikontes and the scenic moon landscape east of Swakopmund will not only make the tourism hot spot lose its "sense of place", but the area will be criss-crossed with new roads, a water pipeline and possibly a 30-kilometre railway line, a preliminary report says.
(Namibian July 8, 2010)
The draft EIA Scoping Report for the ancillary linear infrastructure (transportation routes, water and power supply) for the Etango Project is now available for public comment.
The public consultation period runs until July 26, 2010.
> Download Etango Project - Linear
Infrastructure Environmental Impact Assessment – Scoping Report, Aug. 2010 (ERM Group, Inc.)
Mining license application filed for Etango uranium mine project, while feasibility study only just started
On Dec. 21, 2009, Bannerman Resources Ltd announced that it has lodged a mining licence application for its 80%-owned Etango Project in Namibia.
The application was lodged with the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy to enable development of the Etango Project located on Bannerman's Exclusive Prospecting Licence EPL 3345. In conjunction with this application, Bannerman has lodged with the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment conducted by independent environmental consultants A. Speiser Environmental Consultants CC and peer-reviewed by Environmental Resource Management and the Southern African Institute of Environmental Assessment .
Bannerman cautions that it "has not completed feasibility studies on its projects. Accordingly, there is no certainty that such projects will be economically successful." The reception of the preliminary feasibility study had been quite sceptical among investors.
Bannerman Resources proceeds with Definitive Feasibility Study for Etango uranium mine project
On Dec. 14, 2009, Bannerman Resources Ltd announced Board approval to proceed with a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") following positive results from the Preliminary Feasibility Study ("PFS") on its 80%-owned Etango Project.
Public comment invited on incomplete draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Etango uranium mine project: huge open pit with acid heap leaching planned
A draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is available for public comment.
The public consultation period is from 7 October to 6th November 2009.
The life expectancy of the Etango Project is estimated at 15+ years, with operations planned to begin in 2013.
The mining will follow a conventional open pit drill, blast, load and haul truck and
excavator/shovel operation, standard for most hard-rock mining operations. The final pit will be 3 km in length, 1 km wide and approximately 400 m deep.
After crushing, the ore is then mixed with some water and binding chemicals through a process known as agglomeration and is then transported via conveyor belts and stacked onto the heap leach facility. This has a fixed footprint, reusable (or on/off) pad on which metal is leached from the ore using sulfuric acid.
The leaching process of the same heap continues for several weeks and can take up to 50 days.
Once the heap is completely leached out and rinsed with clean water, the barren heap leach residues is reclaimed from the leach pads and then transported via conveyor belt to the heap leach residue facility, where it will remain.
The pregnant solution is pumped from the collection ponds to the solvent extraction (SX) plant, where the uranium is absorbed onto an organic material. The loaded organic material is then transferred to the recovery plant, where uranium oxide 'yellow cake' is recovered.
Water sources for construction and operation have yet to be finalised. NamWater has indicated that water for operation cannot sustainably provided from the Omdel and/or the Kuiseb aquifers. All water for operation will have to come from desalinated water.
> Download Etango draft ESIA (A. Speiser Environmental Consultants cc)
The scope of this ESIA does not include an assessment of the associated infrastructure, such as the water supply, power line, transport networks (road and rail) and transport of reagents and product to and from site.
Radiation and health and safety are not included in ASEC's scope of work. Environmental Resource Management (ERM), an international consultancy, has been appointed to address these issues and the results from their assessment will be submitted in a separate report.
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment underway for Etango uranium mine project
Bannerman Resources says it is working towards completion of the preliminary feasibility study on the Etango Uranium Project in the country, the company said in a review of its operations.
Following approval of the project which is expected to be completed by the end of 2009, efforts will immediately move into the definitive feasibility study upon which project development financing will ultimately be sought in 2010.
The targeted completion date for the definitive study is the second half of 2010.
In parallel with pre-feasibility, the company has advanced the preparation of an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA). The ESIA report is scheduled for completion in the December 2009 quarter and will assist with Bannerman's application for a mining licence.
(The Namibia Economist, Oct. 2, 2009)
Bannerman Resources commissions Full Feasibility Study for Goanikontes uranium mine project
On May 20, 2008, Bannerman Resources Ltd announced that a contract has been awarded to the engineering construction company GRD Minproc, a subsidiary of GRD Limited, to produce a Full Feasibility Study (FFS) for the development of a uranium mine at the Goanikontes Anomaly A project in Namibia.
Scoping study confirms viability of large scale uranium mine at Goanikontes deposit
On Sep. 17, 2007, Bannerman Resources announced that it has received the results of a detailed scoping study into the economic viability of its Goanikontes Anomaly A uranium Project located in Namibia. "The study has confirmed that, subject to the delineation of the target resource base, a viable operation with strong cash margins could be developed."
The uranium ore would be mined in a conventional open pit at a rate of 15 million t per year. Annual production would be between 2900 and 4000 t U3O8, with a mine life of 12 to 15+ years. Target commissioning date is late 2010, full production would be achieved by mid 2011.
Bannerman expedites mining studies for Goanikontes project
On May 8, 2007, Bannerman Resources Ltd. has confirmed its intention to expedite studies into the development of its Goanikontes uranium project in Namibia.
A scoping study on the project commenced on May 7, 2007.