European focused uranium junior Tournigan Energy (TSXV:TVC) delivered additional promising metallurgical test work results this morning from composites taken from its flagship Kuriskova deposit, Slovakia. The work is part of a wider pre-feasibility study underway on the project.
The company, through Hazen Research of Colorado, has been studying the use of alkaline leaching on different ore zones with the project. Today’s results pertained to Zone 45, where composite grading 0.404% U308 and 0.278% molybdenum was tested.
The results were highly encouraging, with the test results indicating recoveries of 94% and 98% respectively for uranium and molybdenum. The test work performed used the same alkaline-pressure oxidation leaching parameters used on the Kuriskova Main Zone.
The Kuriskova property is located 10 kilometres north west of the city of Kosice, in east-central Slovakia, and lies close to the main paved road between Kosice and Spisska Nova Ves. The property is readily accessed through a series of minor roads and four wheel drive trails that traverse the mineralised zones.
In 2010, a NI 43-101 compliant resource calculated, considering a 0.05% uranium oxide (U3O8) cut off, 20.5 million pounds of U3O8 indicated resource at an average grade of 0.57% U3O8. In addition, the report showed 17.5 million pounds U3O8 inferred resource at an average grade of 0.23% U3O8.
A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) released in 2009 estimated a mine life of the project to be 11 years, averaging 2.4 million pounds of U3O8 production over the first five years, and averaging 1.4 million pounds over the entire mine life. The PEA considered uranium recovery at 90%, and a uranium price of US$65 per pound.
The report estimated the project would require an initial capital investment of US$168 million, and would have operating costs of US$17/lb U3O8 for the first five years, and US$32/lb over the average life of the mine.
This generated a net present value, considering a 12% discount rate, of US$135 million, with a base case pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 35.8%.
“The metallurgical program at Hazen will continue in 2011 as Tournigan progresses in defining the process plant flow sheet for the Prefeasibility Study. Other aspects of the Prefeasibility Study, including resource drilling, are currently being planned and will recommence shortly,” the company added.