Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX:GGG) is nearing completion of Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for its Kvanefjeld rare earth-uranium project in Greenland.
All technical studies that support the impact assessments are now complete, with documentation of the results to be concluded by October 2015.
These along with the Feasibility Study completed in May 2015 make up the exploitation (mining) licence application.
Kvanefjeld is one of the most advanced, undeveloped rare earth and uranium projects globally with a maiden Ore Reserve of 108 million tonnes (Mt) at 362ppm U3O8, 2,600ppm zinc and 14,300ppm total rare earth oxides.
This is sufficient to underpin an initial 37 year mine-life.
The project is poised to be a globally significant producer of high-value critical rare earth concentrates, in the lowest cost quartile.
Additionally it will produce a series of by-products that include uranium oxide, zinc concentrate, lanthanum and cerium products, and fluorspar.
Dr John Mair, managing director, commented:
“Completing a mining license application and commencing the permitting process will be a major step in the path to project development.
“In parallel to the processing of the application, we will place increased focus on commercial aspects including off-take agreements, development partners and project finance.
“Project optimisation is underway, and we should see some significant reductions in capital costs as a result. We look forward to updating on these fronts as we continue to progress.”
Optimisation work through 2015 includes reducing civil earthworks costs and mining costs as well as recovery enhancements.
Completion of an exploitation license application for Kvanefjeld represents a major project milestone.
It is also the culmination of technical studies addressing mineral resources, mining, processing and engineering studies, environmental baseline studies, and stakeholder engagement conducted since 2007.
Time line and schedule for the permitting process will be updated based on feedback from the Greenland Government.
The Feasibility Study proposes a development strategy to see 3 million tonnes per annum mined to produce 250,000 tonnes of rare earth and uranium rich mineral concentrate, and 15,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate (sphalerite).
The rare earth and uranium rich mineral concentrate is then refined to produce:
- 7,900 tonnes of high-purity critical mixed rare earth concentrate (neodymium, praseodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium, yttrium);
- 512 tonnes of uranium oxide
- Lanthanum and cerium by-products
- Fluorspar is recovered from the flotation circuit
The production of the above products will take place in Greenland.
Greenland Minerals and Energy is progressing towards making a mining licence application for its Kvanefjeld Project.
The company is completing the key Environmental and Social Impact Assessments with documentation of the results to be concluded by October 2015.
Adding interest, the company is undertaking project optimisation work that should reduce capital costs.
Besides reducing civil earthworks costs and mining costs as well as recovery enhancements, the company will also look at third party involvement in support infrastructure, which would further reduce direct capital costs.
This would ensure that Kvanefjeld sits squarely within the lowest cost quartile for rare earth production globally.
The timing is also right with Japan restarting the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai Nuclear Plant today while another 23 reactors, including the other Sendai reactor, are in the process of restart approvals.
This places uranium’s long term price of US$44 per pound in the spotlight with prices likely to grow further as Japan brings more reactors back on line.
GGG is well funded with $3.4 million in cash as at 30th June 2015.
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