Aspiring producer Aura Energy (ASX: AEE) has come a massive step closer to developing its flagship Tiris uranium project in Mauritania, announcing the grant of an exploitation licence on the area.
The company today described the grant as a key milestone and the “precursor” to the full development of its wholly-owned project.
The grant followed an exhaustive process including the submission of a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment as well as thorough consultations with the East African nation’s ministerial and public departments regarding the impact of development.
Aura executive chairman Peter Reeve said the Tiris project is “one of the most compelling uranium development projects in the world” and this grant provides confidence that the company will soon be a producer.
“Aura is thankful for the strong support of the Mauritanian Government as they will share in the benefits of the project when Tiris achieves production and cash flow,” Mr Reeve said.
“Aura continues to pursue production offtake and project financing arrangements and expects the project to be well-positioned to take advantage of the rising uranium price,” he added.
The company said it expects to receive the Presidential Decree approving the licence before the end of this year.
Tiris uranium project
Located in the Sahara Desert, the Tiris calcrete uranium project has a mineral resource of 52 million pounds of triuranium octoxide, with 17 million pounds in the measured and indicated category.
Aura is currently conducting a definitive feasibility study on the project with production anticipated in 2020.
A scoping study undertaken in 2014 had estimated a US$45 million capital budget for the project and a US$19.40 per pound operating cost.
However, these estimates are expected to be updated in the ongoing definitive feasibility study to reflect current market prices.
In its annual general meeting presentation released to the market in mid-November, Aura said it anticipated the study’s completion by the end of the year.