Deep Yellow ushers rigs to site for uranium DFS drill out | Ralph-Lauren

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Deep Yellow has made good on its promise to launch straight into a definitive feasibility study, or “DFS” over the Tumas uranium project in Namibia after recently tabling a pre-feasibility study on the project that looks promising.

The company has hit the ground running at Tumas with a fleet of rigs deploying into the Skeleton Coast terrain looking to drill out the remaining inferred resources with a view to upgrading them to indicated status.

The company is also hoping to add more valuable mineralised tonnes to the project.

Deep Yellow’s ultimate aim is put more than 20 years of reserves into it’s burgeoning Namibian inventory with over 190 million tonnes of resources already on the books, that may well be an achievable goal.

The pre-feasibility study on Tumas, released only this week, flagged a mill throughput rate of 3.5 million tonnes per annum and with over 40 million tonnes of reserves, or mineable ore already drilled up, Deep Yellow looks to have already banked around 11.5 years of mine life and counting.

The current DFS drilling campaign is scheduled to kick off this week, with an initial program of 700 to 800 holes designed to develop over 15,000 metres of drilling that will focus on the Tumas 1 and Tumas 3 deposits. The campaign will look to convert the 51.2 million pounds of uranium oxide resources still sitting at inferred status, to measured and indicated, before elevating the various tonnages into the reserve book for inclusion in the developing mining schedule.

Deep Yellow’s Tumas uranium project is located on Namibia’s coastal strip, 210 kilometres west of the capital of Windhoek and inland from the country’s deep-water port at Walvis Bay. The Tumas deposits occupy the southern arm of the same paleochannel system that hosts the famed Langer Heinrich uranium mine, with Deep Yellow having defined uranium mineralisation along more than 60km of strike through the fertile ephemeral river system.

The uranium mineralisation at Tumas is hosted by near-surface calcrete deposits precipitated in the recent sands and gravels that fill the old, dry river-beds which snake their way across the coastal desert strip. Uranium has been sourced from the surrounding and underlying bedrock, concentrated by sporadic rainfall and ground-waters, precipitating as a uranium and vanadium-rich carbonate mineral commonly known as carnotite.

The yellow to orange carnotite can be found throughout the Tumas paleochannel system, however under certain conditions it concentrates into large, shallow economic deposits. The company has now identified more than 125km of paleochannel within its project area, with only around half of that drainage having been explored in any way.

Most of the exploration work to-date has been focussed across the Tumas 1, 2 and 3 discoveries, within 25km of the proposed plant site.

Deep Yellow’s exploration over the past 3-years has more than tripled the existing resource inventory at Tumas, with the current 190m tonne resource that spreads over the Tumas 1, 2 and 3 deposits grading at 251 parts per million uranium oxide at a 100ppm uranium cut-off. The resource currently hosts over 110 pounds of uranium oxide, with over 52 million pounds ready to go into the mine plan.

Infill drilling as part of the PFS work upgraded around 95 per cent of the inferred resources at Tumas 1 and 2 into the indicated category. The extremely high conversion rate from inferred to indicated status demonstrates a predictability and consistency of grade across the uranium deposits which will likely pay dividends as the DFS takes shape and the company advances towards mining.

The DFS drilling campaign will begin at Tumas 3 and aims to convert the more than 40 million tonnes of shallow inferred resources hosted by that deposit into indicated or measured status. Drilling is then scheduled to move on to Tumas 1 East, which hosts another 51 million tonnes of mineralised calcrete that looks ripe for inclusion in the mine.

In fact, Deep Yellow has no shortage of targets, with other nearby resources including the Tubas Sands and calcrete deposits conveniently located downstream from Tumas 3.

Exploratory drilling continues to expand the footprints of the Tumas deposits themselves.

Deep Yellow has tucked its Tumas PFS away and looks to have the bit between its teeth now as it avails itself of all the information needed to make a final investment decision. With the tightening of global supply on the horizon, helped along by the global pandemic and the EV revolution, the John Borschoff led Deep Yellow is just might and up being in the right place at the right time.

Plenty more to come from the sands of Namibia.


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