Boss Energy’s Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia has seen the arrival of the first set of NIMCIX loading and elution columns for the new ion exchange (IX) circuit.
The miner said that the adoption of IX technology is central to the project’s processing plant, and will enable highly efficient capture, concentration, and purification of uranium from the wellfields.
“This will result in increased throughput, more production and lower costs than was possible using the solvent extraction system previously employed at Honeymoon,” Boss Energy said.
“This was proven by the extensive tests conducted by Boss and leading independent industry experts, before and during the Honeymoon feasibility studies.”
Boss Energy managing director Duncan Craib said the IX circuit is expected to drive efficiencies at Honeymoon by increasing production throughput to nameplate capacity of 2.45 million pounds (Mlb) per annum of triuranium octoxide while reducing ramp up time and technical risks.
Craib also said it will reduce operating costs to industry benchmarks, including a forecast all in sustaining cost of US$25/lb and cash costs of less than $US20 per pound ($38/lb).
“IX is used in the vast majority of uranium in-situ leach operations in Kazakhstan, the USA and Australia. In terms of operating and capital costs, IX has significant advantages over all other technologies,” Craib said.
“The first set of loading and elution columns will be sufficient to enable Boss to commission the project and commence production. Another five sets will be added as part of the subsequent production ramp up.”
Last week, Boss Energy confirmed that the Honeymoon project is on track to achieve its first uranium in the December 2023 quarter.