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Paladin Energy estimates restarting Namibian uranium mine will cost US$80M

Paladin Energy Ltd. on Oct. 14 outlined initial capital requirements of US$80 million to bring its suspended flagship Langer Heinrich uranium project in Namibia back to producing 5.2 million pounds per annum.

The first phase of a pre-feasibility study outlined a 20-year mine life with average all-in sustaining costs of about US$33 per pound. The study indicated the mine could restart production within 12 months of securing financing.

The company can increase production capacity to 6.5 million pounds per annum by spending about US$30 million more.

The expanded operation will have a 16-year mine life and all-in sustaining costs of US$29/lb.

Paladin can potentially realize further all-in sustaining cost improvements of about US$4.50/lb through significant process changes after the restart, according to an Oct. 14 news release.

A second phase of the pre-feasibility study will focus on completing in-progress test work and updating the pipeline of improvements for further development after Langer Heinrich is restarted.

Paladin declared a maiden vanadium mineral resource of 122.1 million tonnes grading 145 parts per million vanadium pentoxide for 38.8 million pounds contained. The company said it would investigate vanadium production at Langer Heinrich once the market shows signs of improvement.

Paladin owns 75% of the mine, and China National Nuclear Corp. owns 25%.

In June, Paladin said it will use proceeds from the A$5 million sale of its 85% interest in the Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi and a US$10 million environmental performance bond repayment to restart Langer Heinrich.