Malawi

Kayelekera Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StageRestarting
Commodities
  • Uranium
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Mine Life9.5 years (as of Jan 1, 2022)
ShapshotThe Kayelekera Uranium Project is the fourth largest uranium asset globally by historical annual production currently on care and maintenance. The Project produced ~11MIbs U3O8 equivalent over five years between 2009-2014, before the asset was shutdown to preserve its longevity due to a sustained low uranium price.

The Kayelekera Restart Definitive Feasibility Study, which was announced to the market in August 2022, confirmed the Project as one of the lowest capital cost uranium projects globally (US$88 million), which can also recommence production quickly (15 months development for construction/refurbishment) once a Final Investment Decision (FID) is made.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Government of the Republic of Malawi 15 % Indirect
Lotus Resources Ltd. 85 % Indirect
Lotus Resources owns 85% of the Project with the remaining 15% held by the Government of Malawi.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Sandstone hosted

Summary:

Kayelekera is a sandstone-hosted uranium deposit associated with the Permian Karoo sediments and is hosted by the Kayelekera member of the North Rukuru sediments of the Karoo. The mineralisation at Kayelekera is hosted in several arkose units where they are adjacent to the Eastern Boundary Fault zone. The mineralisation forms more or less tabular bodies restricted to the arkoses, except adjacent to the NS strand of the Eastern Boundary fault at the eastern extremity of the pit. Here, mineralisation also occurs in mudstones in the immediate vicinity of the fault. The highest grades correspond to the intersection of the eastern and Champhanji faults. Mineralisation grade and tonnage declines with lateral distance from these faults. The lowest level of known mineralisation is currently at a depth of approximately 160m below surface.

Kayelekera is situated close to a major tectonic boundary between the Ubendian and the Irumide domains. The Ubendian domain consists of medium to high-grade metamorphic rocks and intrusions cut by major NW-SE dextral shear zones and post-tectonic granitoid intrusions dated at 1.86Ga (Lenoir et al., 1995). These shear zones may well have been reactivated during and after deposition of the Karoo sequence, since many major brittle faults that offset the Karoo-aged rocks have the same orientation.

Mineralisation at Kayelekera is hosted in several arkose units where they are adjacent to the Eastern Boundary Fault zone. The mineralisation forms more or less tabular bodies restricted to the arkoses, except adjacent to the NS strand of the Eastern Boundary fault at the eastern extremity of the pit. Here, mineralisation also occurs in mudstones in the immediate vicinity of the fault. It can be seen that the highest grades correspond to the intersection of the eastern and Champanji faults. Mineralisation grade and tonnage declines with lateral distance from these faults.

Secondary mineralisation tends to be concentrated in vertical fractures and along the contacts between mudstone and arkose and is restricted to the upper parts of the orebody Primary reduced (i.e. carbon and pyrite-bearing) arkose ore accounts for 40% of the total ore. About 30% of the mineralisation is hosted in oxidised arkose (i.e. lacking carbon and pyrite) and is called oxidised ore. 10% of mineralisation is termed “Mixed Arkose” and exhibits characteristics of both primary and secondary arkose mineralisation types.

Uranium in primary ore is present as coffinite, minor uraninite and a U-Ti mineral, tentatively referred to as brannerite. Modes of occurrence include: disseminated in matrix clay, included in detrital mica grains and intimately intergrown with carbonaceous matter. Individual grains are extremely fine, typically <10µm. Coffinite and uraninite also show an association with a TiO2 phase, possibly rutile after detrital ilmenite. It is possible that uranium deposition was accompanied by leaching of Fe from detrital ilmenite and precipitation of a TiO2 polymorph.

The Kayelekera Mineral Resource area extends over a strike length of 1,600m (from 8,895,300mN – 8,896,900mN) and includes the 300m vertical interval from 1,000mRL to 700mRL.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
U3O8 M lbs 219
All production numbers are expressed as yellow cake.

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual mining capacity 0
Annual processing rate 00
Stripping / waste ratio 00
Waste tonnes, LOM 000
Ore tonnes mined, LOM 000
Total tonnes mined, LOM 000
Tonnes processed, LOM 000
* According to 2022 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Cash costs U3O8 USD 000
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) U3O8 USD 000
* According to 2022 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

Currency2022
OP mining costs ($/t mined) USD 3.04 *  
OP mining costs ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
Processing costs ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Pre-Production capital costs $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Initial CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Closure costs $M USD  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Source Source
Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 16, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 2, 2023

EmployeesYear
Subscription required 2022

Aerial view:

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