Australian mining company A-Cap Resources says near surface uranium resources discovered in the Letlhakane are bringing closer, plans to establish the first uranium mine in the country.
In a quarterly report, the company says that a previous scoping study conducted on the site has confirmed a resource of 280-million tons, at 158 parts per million uranium oxide (U3O8) for 44 500t of contained concentrate.
"The new zone has now been defined in a 150-m-wide 500-m-long north-west-trending corridor, which remains open to the east and to the west.
"Uranium mineralisation starts within 1 m of the surface and goes down to a depth of 8 m," read the report. Although no assay results are available yet, trenching and visual inspection of hollow auger core has confirmed the presence of carnotite in calcretes and fine-grained, strongly weathered sedimentary rock of the Karoo Supergroup.
This discovery is potentially important as consulting company SRK's 2008 scoping study on the Letlhakane uranium project showed that this style of mineralisation has the highest grades, the best metallurgical recoveries and is close to the surface, making it the project's most attractive ore type.
The study concluded that the shallow-lying ore will
The project's power will be sourced through a 10-km power line connecting to the Botswana State grid at the switch station in Serule, located between Francistown and Palapye, and its water will be sourced from a borefield developed into aquifers within the exploration tenement. This has yet to be verified.
A-Cap MD Dr Andrew Tunks states that this is a promising discovery for the company as the near-surface, secondary mineralisation is its most profitable ore owing to its high grades and excellent metallurgical characteristics.
"It is an exciting time for A-Cap as we are progressing through the metallurgical test work programme that forms the backbone of the current feasibility study that is aiming for production of 1 000 t/y of uranium, with additional studies about to start on the primary ore," he concludes.