GoviEx Uranium has signed drilling contracts with ESAFOR and FORACO to undertake drilling programs related to a feasibility study for the Madaouela Uranium Project in Niger.

“Following the positive results of the updated pre-feasibility study (PFS) announced [on] 18 February 2021, and based on our view that the uranium market fundamentals are demonstrating continued improvement, we have decided to move straight on to the completion of the feasibility study required to secure project financing said Daniel Major, GoviEx CEO.

He added that a key benefit from the updated PFS was the simplification and optimisation of the project – which has also simplified the scope of the remaining test work expected to be completed in support of a feasibility study. “As a result, our priorities for the advancement of Madaouela include a drilling program designed to further our understanding of the molybdenum mineralization of the Project and confirmatory metallurgical test work.”

Drilling program details

GoviEx has planned a 13 000-metre drilling program, with a combination of rotary mud and diamond core drilling, to an average depth of 100 metres. This drilling program, located at the Miriam deposit, will focus three main objectives:

  • Drilling a 50-metre grid within the planned open pit shape to confirm an indicated mineral resource for molybdenum mineralisation. The process flowsheet has been designed to recover molybdenum as a by-product based on the molybdenum content reported in the previous test work.
  • Final corroboration of the geotechnical slope design for Miriam, which was steepened from 51 degrees to 53 degrees in the Update PFS.
  • Verification of whether Miriam dewatering is sufficient to support process water requirements rather than developing a standalone well field as is currently assumed given the reduced water usage defined in the Updated PFS.  Positive results, if they are achieved, will potentially permit reduced operating and capital costs associated with water supply, and could also lower the potential environmental impact.

The planned drilling program will be performed by ESAFOR (l’Entreprise Sidi Abdoul Aziz de Forage), and FORACO. ESAFOR, a Nigerien drilling company, has completed substantial previous drilling for GoviEx, having completed over 620 000 metres of exploration and resource drilling on the Project area. FORACO, a Nigerien subsidiary of Foraco International SA, a French drilling company, has concluded extensive exploration work on a number of nearby uranium deposits in Niger. The first drill rig is expected on site by 01 May 2021, and it is anticipated that the total program will last approximately five months.

Additionally, the GoviEx has prepared one tonne of ore samples, which are due to be sent to South Africa, for feasibility study metallurgical test work. Due to the simplification of the process flowsheet, the required test work necessary to meet the technical requirements for a feasibility study is also simplified and will focus on verification and optimisation, including comminution, acid leach and ion exchange.

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