Tiris uranium project records 550% increase in uranium grade

Tiris uranium project, in Mauritania has recorded an average 550% increase in uranium grade scale confirmatory results from simple screening techniques carried out. Aura Energy confirmed the report and said preliminary bulk leaching tests have also confirmed rapid uranium extraction of over 95%.

“This is a huge step in advancing Tiris to production by showing that lab results can be successfully replicated and even improved at pilot scale, using proven, simple and low-cost screening techniques,” Aura acting CEO Will Goodall said.

Resource upgrade programme

The ASX- and Aim-listed firm had mentioned its 2022 resource upgrade programme would include further drilling, seeking to upgrade more of its 56-million-pound resource from inferred to measured and indicated (M&I), and to identify further exploration targets within the tenure. Pilot scale tests were conducted at mining science and technology organisation Mintek, in Johannesburg, South Africa, while bulk metallurgical test work is ongoing at minerals processing consultancy ANSTO Minerals, in New South Wales, Australia.

Aura conducted the pilot plant trial for the Tiris beneficiation circuit, achieved through simple wet screening, in 2019 at Mintek, with the final results now confirmed. The pilot plant aimed to demonstrate, at larger scale, the substantial upgrade of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) concentration into a small fraction of the mined feed, as was previously demonstrated and reported at laboratory scale.

Results indicated an increase in uranium grade from an average 285 ppm U3O8 to an average 1 572 ppm U3O8, as well as an average mass reduction of 80% of the mined material reporting to the leach circuit, containing an average 90% of total uranium.

“The ability to increase the feed grade to the processing plant to [between] 1 500 [and] 1 600 ppm U3O8 is a key differentiator from other uranium deposits and places Aura in a strong position to advance Tiris into production with low capital and operating costs,” Goodall said.

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