New mine project posted on Mine Developments – Trekkopje Project
The 128,979 ha project is approximately 65 km in a straight line northeast of the coastal town of Swakopmund and lies in the very arid desert region of western Namibia, southwestern Africa. Access is via paved highway east from Swakopmund 70 km, and then by graded gravel road 23 km north to the project site. The project site is readily accessible, and close to power and rail transport.
The project is a very large, low-grade, shallow uranium resource that consists of two uranium deposits, the Trekkopje deposit and the Klein Trekkopje deposit, located approximately 7.0km apart. The deposits, are broad, shallow, calcrete-hosted uranium deposits hosted in calcium carbonate cemented (calcrete) conglomerates of Tertiary age and hosts a resource of 340 Mt grading 0.014% U3O5 for 105 Mlbs U3O5. A two year Bankable Feasibility Study began in August 2006.
It is envisaged to be developed as a very low stripping open pit mining operations using large hydraulic excavators (up to 60,000 tpd) or hydraulic shovels, wheel loaders, and haul trucks.
Mining activities will include ripping, scraping, drilling, blasting, loading, hauling, together with support activities. Ore will be delivered to a moveable primary crusher, located near the pit, for subsequent crushed ore transportation by conveyors. A RoM stockpile located near the primary crusher would help with continuity of ore delivery over short periods.
The mining operations are planned to be operated on three eight-hour shifts/day, seven days/week. Ore production is planned for 335 days/yr, based on 92% availability of the primary crushers over 365 days. Waste mining and support operations could be conducted up to 360 days/yr.
Given the selection of heap leaching and ion exchange as the preferred process route, a desalinated water source will be required since chloride in both the seawater and saline water will inhibit the ion exchange process. A reverse osmosis water treatment plant would be constructed to treat seawater, and would be pumped to the site. This would be supplied from a conventional reverse osmosis desalination plant to be located on the coast to the north of Swakopmund some 50 km from the Trekkopje project site.
The mine has been approved by the Namibian government in June 2008 and its first yellowcake production is expected in 2009. Some 8.5 million pounds of uranium oxide are expected to be produced over its 12 years mine life.