Bannerman Energy (ASX: BMN) said on Friday it had received the mining licence for its flagship Etango uranium project in Namibia, Africa’s biggest producer.
The permit comes at a time when prices for the radioactive material, needed in a world shifting away from fossil fuels, have rallied to hit almost 16-year highs.
Morgan Stanley analysts last week said they were more bullish about uranium prices than any other mined commodity, as current supply can’t keep up with demand. They expect prices to reach $95 a pound by the second quarter of 2024.
Bannerman said receiving the mining licence has allowed the company to immediately award two key early works contracts with a combined value of $2 million. One is related to building a temporary construction water supply and the other one for setting a site access road.
“Etango is now fully permitted, enabling us to drive key project workstreams towards a final investment decision in parallel with the ongoing strengthening in uranium market fundamentals,” the Australian listed uranium developer said in the statement.
The Etango uranium project is located in the Erongo region of Namibia, 30 km south-east of Swakopmund. The asset holds a uranium mineral resource of 207 million pounds of contained triuranium octoxide (U3O8).
Only two of Namibia’s three mines currently produce the nuclear fuel, according to the Namibian Uranium Association — Rossing uranium mine and Husab uranium, which are controlled by Chinese investors. Australia’s Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) plans to resume commercial production at its Langer Heinrich mine in early 2024.