Häggån Project Scoping Study & Market
In February 2012, Aura Energy announced a major milestone by validating the economic viability of its giant Häggån uranium deposit in central Sweden with excellent results from a Scoping Study. These results gave the green light for Aura to move into pre-feasibility.
In May 2012, Aura completed an update of the Scoping Study results to more accurately reflect market pricing of uranium oxide. This placed the project in the top five current and planned uranium producing operations with an NPV of almost US$1.9 billion (at uranium price of US$65/lb.)
The audit of the Scoping Study financial model, prepared by independent consultants RMDSTEM Limited confirms Häggån is a financially robust project among the lowest cost uranium heap leach operations globally.
Key highlights from the Scoping Study include:
- Net Present Value (NPV) of $US1.85B
- US$13/lb U308 when nickel and molybdenum are treated as by-products
- US$26/lb U308 when nickel and molybdenum are included as U308 equivalent
- Internal Rate of Return (IRR) 49%
Payback in 4.2 years (17% of project life)
Pre-production capital of US$537M, sustaining capital (annual) of US$18M pa
- Annual production of 7.8 million pounds (3,538 tonnes) uranium, 14.8 million pounds nickel and 4.3 million pounds molybdenum
Initial pit shells contain >741 million tonnes of mineralisation, with much of the Project undrilled
Nominal 30 Mtpa operation with a 25 year initial mine life
Low mining costs with strip ratio of 0.75:1
- Uses low risk bacterial heap leach technology used extensively in the copper industry in Chile
A review conducted in late 2013 used smaller options than the original 30 million tonnes per annum used, which demonstrated robust project financials with derived cash costs in the lower half of the uranium sector curve.
Options included 3.5, 5.0 and 7.5 million tonnes per annum which would provide a number of additional development alternatives with a substantially lower front end capital cost requirement. Upfront capital costs were significantly reduced at all the modelled scales with operating costs remaining low.
The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics predicts that the global uranium demand will rise by 42% between 2013 and 2017, and Japan has announced its intentions to restart its off-line nuclear reactors. Aura, which has the largest uranium resources of any ASX-listed uranium company (excluding BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto) is in an excellent position to become a global producer and supplier of uranium.
Click here for initial Scoping Study results released on February 7, 2012, here for the revised Scoping Study results released on May 29, 2012, or here for the remodelling results released on December 4, 2013.