Paladin Energy reports that 37,000 m of drilling at its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia during 2010 has increased proven and probable reserves by 104% and measured and indicated mineral resources by 106%. Proven and probable reserves at Langer Heinrich now total 134.1 million lb of contained U3O8 at a grade of 0.055% and a cutoff of 250 ppm U3O8. Measured and indicated resources total 149.2 million lb of contained of U3O8 at the same grade and cutoff.
The goal of 2010 drilling at Langer Heinrich was to establish a reserve and resource base sufficient to support a production expansion from 5.2 million lb/y of U3O8 currently to 10 million lb/y. Based on the success of the drilling, Paladin has initiated a feasibility study for such an expansion, anticipating 9 million lb/y of future production will be from an expanded processing plant and 1 million lb/y will be from heap leach operations. Mine life at the expanded production rate is estimated at more than 20 years at a processing feed rate of 3.45 million mt/y.
Langer Heinrich operations are based on a calcrete-hosted secondary uranium deposit associated with valley-fill sediments in an extensive Tertiary palaeo-drainage system. Economic mineralization occurs in seven contiguous zones across a length of 15-km. Mineralization is near-surface, between 1 m and 30 m thick, and between 50 m and 1,100 m wide, depending on the width of the palaeo-valley.