Tournigan Energy reported in late January 2012 that it has received a positive preliminary feasibility study (PFS) on its flagship Kuriskova high-grade uranium deposit in Slovakia from Tetra Tech. The PFS states that the project would be best developed as an underground mine using conventional mining and processing methods. The mine plan is based on underhand drift-and-fill mining, utilizing a roadheader as the primary production method and assuming an external dilution (over break) of 5% at a grade of 0.03% U.
The project would be designed with an underground processing facility, allowing the project to be developed with a very small surface footprint. Metallurgical tests completed at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado, USA indicate that uranium and molybdenum recoveries of 92% and 86.8%, respectively, can be achieved using conventional alkaline leaching and precipitation circuits, producing separate uranium (yellowcake) and molybdenum concentrates. Production would average approximately 786 mt/y (1.7 million lb/y) of uranium in a U3O8 concentrate, plus 84 mt/y of molybdenum in concentrate, with life-of-mine U3O8 production of 20.9 million lb (9,500 mt).
Initial capital costs to develop the Kuriskova project are estimated at $225 million (including owner’s costs and a contingency of $31 million). During the life of the mine, sustaining capital requirements will be about $71 million. Total operating costs are estimated at $22.98/lb of U3O8 over the mine life. During the first four years of production, total operating costs are estimated at $16.68/lb of U3O8. These costs are net of a byproduct credit for molybdenum of about $1.27/lb of U3O8. Royalties payable to the government in this base case will add about $2.89/lb of U3O8.
Mineral reserves are estimated at 2.5 million mt at an average grade of 0.346% U, providing for an underground mining rate of about 210,000 mt/y of ore at an economic cutoff of 0.13% U3O8 for approximately 13 years.
On February 22, Tournigan announced its name would be changed to European Uranium Resources Ltd., effective March 1, 2012, and the company will trade on the TSX Venture Exchange.