A feasibility study is being carried out at Canadian uranium company GoviEx Uranium’s flagship Madaouela project, in Niger, and GoviEx CEO Daniel Major says construction could start at the end of the year.
The study is being carried out by consulting engineering and science company SRK Consulting and engineering services provider SGS Bateman, which were appointed by GoviEx in September last year.
“We will progress as quickly as the rising uranium price allows us to and, if the study continues at the rate it is progressing now, it should be completed by the latter half of the year,” Major states. Construction and prestripping the mine will take two years, and the company expects to start commercial production in 2021.
The uranium price increased by about 40% last year and was a deciding factor in starting work on the final feasibility study for the project, he tells Mining Weekly.
“We are seeing the fastest growth in reactor build in the past 25 years, and it will accelerate in the next few years. Simultaneously, there is a uranium supply deficit.”
Further, he points out that other notable uranium mines in Niger, such as the Cominak and Somaïr mines, are coming to the end of their geological lives and GoviEx hopes to fill the ensuing supply gap. Major highlights that Niger is a safe environment to operate in, with the country’s government focused on supporting its mining industry. GoviEx has been operating in the country since 2007.
The company’s principal objective is to become a significant uranium producer and is extremely focused on getting its flagship project operational. “Our primary targets are the debt and offtake agreements and, of course, the feasibility study for the Madaouela project. There is a significant focus on optimising the project and bringing costs down,” he notes.
Major believes that Africa remains a centre for exploration and development, “simply because it is so substantially underexplored in all major minerals”, adding that there are significant opportunities on the continent.
GoviEx exhibited at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, which was held from February 4 to 7, in Cape Town. He notes that the event provided a real sense of positivity for African mining.
Company representatives discussed the project and future plans with investors and companies that are interested in Niger and the Madaouela project. This is the second year that GoviEx exhibited at the Mining Indaba.
“The Indaba is the most important place to meet banks, governments and suppliers that are focused on the African mining environment and the year ahead, and that is why we attended the event,” he concludes.Creamer Media Deputy Editor: Features