PERTH, AUSTRALIA–(Marketwired – Nov. 11, 2015) – Bannerman Resources Limited (ASX:BMN)(TSX:BAN)(NAMIBIAN:BMN) and its independent technical consultants (primarily AMEC Foster Wheeler and Optiro Pty Ltd) have completed an Optimisation Study (“OS”) on the geological modelling and mine planning aspects of the Etango Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”), which was completed in April 2012. The OS also reflects updated capital and operating cost estimates. The full report is available on Bannerman’s website at www.bannermanresources.com and on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
Key outcomes of the OS (at a life-of-mine price of US$75/lb U3O8):
- Project net present value (NPV8%) of US$419M (previously US$69M).
- Post-tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 15% (previously 9%).
- Average annual production of 7.2Mlbs U3O8 over an initial 15.7 year open pit mine life;
- 9.2Mlbs U3O8 per annum over the first five full production years (previously 7.9Mlbs).
- Average life-of-mine cash operating costs of US$38/lb U3O8 (reduced 17%);
- US$33/lb U3O8 over the first five full production years (reduced 20%).
- Pre-production capital of US$793M including mining fleet (reduced 9%).
- Rapid payback from first production (4.4 years) and initial mine life to payback ratio of 3.6 times.
- Total operating cash flow of US$3.7B before capital and tax, and free cash flow of US$1.6B after capital and tax. From production commencement, average annual operating cash flow of US$236M and free cash flow of US$150M. Peak annual free cash flow of US$392M.
- Potential upside from heap leach demonstration plant results and other identified opportunities still to be incorporated via additional optimisation work.
A detailed summary of the OS results is set out in the attachment to this release. In accordance with Canadian technical reporting requirements, it is noted that Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
A NI 43-101 report on the OS will be filed in accordance with the requirements.
Bannerman Chief Executive Officer, Len Jubber, said:
“The Optimisation Study has strongly repositioned Etango, demonstrating project economics that are highly competitive at consensus incentive long term uranium prices. Importantly the work has also confirmed the technical robustness of the DFS. When coupled with the success of the heap leach demonstration plant, the Optimisation Study clearly places Etango at the forefront of the global development pipeline of projects likely to produce at or above 2Mlbs U3O8 per annum.”
“The outstanding improvements in key project metrics reflect the sustained and diligent professionalism of the Bannerman technical team and independent consultants. The favourable demonstration plant results and unconverted mineral resources deliver considerable potential to further enhance the economics and longevity of the Etango project.”
“Importantly, Bannerman has now established a sound project platform for extensive engagement with the global nuclear industry. The technical and financial credibility that comes with Etango’s advanced stage of study will be of critical benefit to Bannerman during this educating and marketing process. Moreover, at a time when most uranium projects are subject to lengthy and uncertain permitting timeframes, it is comforting to be operating in Namibia where 3 major uranium mines have been permitted and largely constructed during the past 10 years.”
“With the growing debate around climate change and the commitment of major players such as the USA and China to reducing greenhouse gas emission, nuclear energy as a baseload electricity source, is expected to have a central role in meeting the growth of future energy needs. Whilst wind and solar energy will no doubt have a role to play, there is no substitute for more nuclear energy when targeting significant reductions in emissions and increases in overall energy supply.”
“We will continue to move the Etango project forward in a professional manner, looking to capitalise on its advanced project status and early mover advantage into the consensus forecast improvement in uranium market activity and pricing.”
Len Jubber, Chief Executive Officer
Cautionary Statement: This announcement has been prepared in accordance with the JORC Code (2012) and the ASX Listing Rules. Whilst Bannerman has concluded that it has a reasonable basis for providing the forward looking statements included in this announcement, Bannerman advises that given the current price of U3O8 and the company’s current market capitalisation (compared to the capital expenditure required in connection with the Etango project), the production targets and forecast financial information contained in this announcement do not provide an assurance of economic development at this stage. The stated production target and forecast financial information contained in this announcement is based on Bannerman’s current expectations of future results or events and should not be relied upon by investors when making investment decisions.
Len Jubber (Managing Director and CEO) will host a conference call to discuss the Company’s recent activities at 9.00am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (“AEDT”) on Thursday 12th November 2015.
The conference call includes Q & A participation. Please dial in five minutes before the conference starts and provide your name and Conference ID.
Conference ID: 675198
- Australia: 1 800 558 698
- Australia: 02 9007 3187
- China: 4001 200 659
- Canada 1855 8811 339
- Hong Kong: 800 966 806
- Singapore: 800 101 2785
- United Kingdom: 0800 051 8245
- United States: (855) 881 1339
A recording of the conference call will be available on the Company’s website later in the day.
About Bannerman – Bannerman Resources Limited is an ASX, TSX and NSX listed exploration and development company with uranium interests in Namibia, a southern African country which is a premier uranium mining jurisdiction. Bannerman’s principal asset is its 80%-owned Etango Project situated near Rio Tinto’s Rössing uranium mine, Paladin’s Langer Heinrich uranium mine and CGNPC’s Husab uranium mine currently under construction. A definitive feasibility study has confirmed the technical, environmental and financial (at consensus long term uranium prices) viability of a large open pit and heap leach operation at one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits. In 2015, Bannerman is conducting a large scale heap leach demonstration program to provide further assurance to financing parties, generate process information for the detailed engineering design phase and build and enhance internal capability. More information is available on Bannerman’s website at http://www.bannermanresources.com/.
Certain disclosures in this release, including management’s assessment of Bannerman’s plans and projects, constitute forward looking statements that are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Bannerman’s operation as a mineral development company that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. The following are important factors that could cause Bannerman’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements: fluctuations in uranium prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, recovery rates, production estimates and estimated economic return; general market conditions; the uncertainty of future profitability; and the uncertainty of access to additional capital. Full descriptions of these risks can be found in Bannerman’s various statutory reports, including its Annual Information Form available on the SEDAR website, sedar.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Bannerman expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Mineral Resources which are not Ore Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Competent person’s statement
The information in this release relating to the Mineral Resources (November 2015) of the Etango Project is based on a resource estimate compiled or reviewed by Mr Ian Glacken, Principal Consultant at Optiro Pty Ltd and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Glacken has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”, is an independent consultant to Bannerman and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Mr Glacken consents, and provides corporate consent for Optiro Pty Ltd, to the inclusion in this release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this release relating to the Mineral Resources (October 2010) of the Etango Project is based on a resource estimate compiled or reviewed by Mr Brian Wolfe in April 2012. Mr Wolfe is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr Wolfe was employed by Coffey Mining as an independent consultant to the Company at the time of the studies and public release of results. As Mr Wolfe is now no longer employed by Coffey Mining, Coffey Mining has reviewed this presentation and consent to the inclusion, form and context of the relevant information herein as derived from the original reports for which Mr Wolfe’s consent has previously been given. Mr Wolfe has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the JORC ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’ and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101.
The information in this release relating to the Ore Reserves (April 2012 and November 2015) of the Etango Project is based on information compiled or reviewed by Mr Leon Fouché, a full time employee of Bannerman Resources Limited. Mr Fouché is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”, and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Mr Fouché consents to the inclusion in this release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
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Bannerman Resources Limited
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