Honeymoon uranium mine restart takes shape

The Honeymoon project

Boss Resources has launched a restart strategy for the Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia.

Since acquiring Honeymoon in December 2015, Boss has de-risked the operation, both technically and commercially, to the point where it is ready to execute a programs of works for the restart. The relaunch will, however, depend on a target uranium price being achieved.

Boss plans to spend $US68 million ($92 million) on the mine, including $US10 million on a solvent extraction plant for a potential restart within nine months, and $US58 million on an ion exchange plant that will be constructed within 24 months.

Based on Boss’ pre-feasibility study for Honeymoon, the operation is expected to produce an average of 3.2Mlb of U3O8 a year.

Boss has split the restart into three phases, beginning with the input of final data for a definitive feasibility study (DFS).

The second phase comprises the DFS and permitting updates, while the third phase will cover the detailed execution planning and operational readiness.

Boss managing director Duncan Craib said phase one of the restart strategy had commenced and initial activities were focused on the planning and preparation of the infill and step-out drill program.

“Consultants and engineering support for optimisation and trade-off studies have been identified and proposals are currently being finalised,” Craib said.

“On completion of the three-phase strategy, we will be in a position to make a decision to proceed to mine, assuming a specified global uranium price has been achieved to satisfy the targeted IRR (internal rate of return) and NPV (net present value) return to maximise shareholder value.”

Boss plans to start phase two in early 2019 and phase three later that year.

Honeymoon, about 80km north-west of Broken Hill, includes a mining lease, exploration licences and $170 million of infrastructure currently placed on care and maintenance.