Botswanan Uranium mine given green light
The Letlhakane pro...
Botswana’s first Uranium mine has taken a big step in becoming a reality, following environmental approval from the local government.
The Letlhakane project, just outside of Francistown, Botswana, is an exploration and resource development project from A-Cap resources. The project will be the first of its kind for Botswana, which is estimated to have 1.04billion tonnes of uranium reserves.
A-cap submitted an application for a mining licence last year and the environmental approval from the government represents a huge step towards receiving said licence.
“This is a major milestone for A-Cap and its flagship uranium project with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) approval being an important requirement for securing a mining licence,” a statement from A-Cap said.
The Letlhakane project, one of the largest undeveloped uranium deposits in the world, will hold a shallow pit mine with an 18-year mine life.
“We have been conducting extensive work over the years, commencing 2009, in studying and identifying the overall environmental and social impacts associated with developing the first uranium mine in Botswana. The board has ensured the highest standards have been adopted in preparing the Environment Impact Statement,” said A-Cap CEO, Paul Thomson.
Read the May 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.