ASX 200

Boss Energy’s commissioning metrics at Honeymoon uranium project exceed study forecasts

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Boss Energy ASX BOE Honeymoon uranium mine update

Boss Energy (ASX: BOE) reports that the commissioning process at its Honeymoon uranium project is proceeding according to plan, with key metrics exceeding feasibility study forecasts.

The performance has been reflected in the results of uranium-rich pregnant leach solution (PLS) from the project’s well-fields, as well as in ion exchange column resin loading and high-grade ion exchange column eluate.

Tenors from the individual well-fields are averaging up to 100 milligrams per litre compared to the study estimate of 47 mg/L, representing an approximate 100% uplift.

Lixiviant chemistry is reported to be demonstrating superior performance at commercial throughput rates, while increased leach efficiency is expected to lead to more efficient loading on the ion exchange resin.

This effectively lowers operating costs as fewer reagents and less power are required per drum of uranium.

Elution performance sits at more than 7 g/L versus a targeted range of 5 g/L.

Loading rates

A critical factor in resin performance is the loading of uranium from the PLS onto the ion exchange resin, with demonstrated loading rates of up to 36 g/L being 33% higher than feasibility estimates of 27 g/L.

This means Honeymoon’s ion exchange circuit is currently processing more uranium per cycle than designed.

As the cost of processing a cycle of ion exchange resin is fixed, a higher resin loading is expected to drive a more efficient use of reagents.

The company’s focus will now shift to the optimisation of the ion exchange, elution and precipitation processes to achieve continuous operations.

Exceeding forecasts

Boss managing director Duncan Craib said he was pleased with the commissioning progress to date.

“We are meeting or exceeding key feasibility study forecasts and the processing technology is performing as our extensive test work showed it would,” he said.

“These early production results provide confidence that we are on track to meet our ramp-up targets, which have been designed to align with a rising uranium market.”

“We believe we will be hitting our stride as the uranium price rises in the near term.”

Sales agreements

Boss has entered into two binding sales agreements to sell 1.8 million pounds of uranium oxide to major European and US power utilities from now until 2032.

Mr Craib said the company would enter into further agreements as the uranium price rises.

“Our contracting strategy is to monitor the markets and layer in contracts, predominantly market-related, to optimise future pricing and ensure profitability and cash flow as production ramps up,” he said.

The first delivery under the current contracts is planned for July, with payment expected in the same quarter.