Boss Resources could restart production at the Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia in 12 months after delivering an “outstanding” feasibility study (FS).
The company is set to seize an anticipated rally in the uranium market, thanks to the positive FS results and conservative uranium prices.
Boss is fully permitted to export 3.3 million pounds of triuranium octoxide equivalent per year over a 12-year mine life.
The company will refurbish the existing solvent extraction plant with significant process improvement during stage one.
Boss will also add an ion exchange circuit, which will take 20 months to design, construct and commission.
Both stages work towards achieving an annual production of two million pounds of triuranium octoxide equivalent a year, before ramping up to three million pounds per annum as permitted.
Boss will use $170 million of historical infrastructure expenditure and Honeymoon’s existing plant that previously produced and exported uranium.
“Our FS base case results confirm we will be Australia’s next uranium producer,” Boss managing director Duncan Craib said.
“Reflecting a conservative base case uranium price of $50 per pound of triuranium octoxide over life of mine, the FS demonstrates Honeymoon’s advanced development can rapidly respond to a market rally, given the low capital barrier.
“It’s average all-in cost of $US32.3 ($47) per pound of triuranium octoxide over life of mine positions Honeymoon as one of the lowest operating uranium production costs worldwide.”
According to Boss, uranium analysts predict that a long-term spot price in the mid $US40s, anticipated from 2023, will incentive restarts. However, most new mines will need a price closer to $US60 per pound.
With the FS completed, Boss is set to progress offtake contracts with utilities globally.
“Our team has technically de-risked the project and ensured there is no timeline drag from onerous tasks of securing permits and approvals needed to restart production,” Craib said.
The Honeymoon project also holds an additional 36 million pounds of JORC resource outside the restart area, which could expand the mine life.
This news coincides with Boss’ announcement of newly appointed chairman, Peter O’Connor to replace Mark Hohnen, who is stepping down after assisting Boss’ transition into a restart operation.
O’Connor has been a director of Northern Star Resources since 2012.
Boss stated that O’Connor’s appointment followed a “worldwide executive search for the chair.”