By Hilary Mare
THE Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has officially denied Bannerman Resources its mining licence application for its Etango uranium project.
Bannerman Resources, the dual-listed uranium junior, revealed this in its latest annual report for year ended 30 June 2018 stating that the although having received correspondence from the MME stating that the Minister intended to decline the license, the refusal was communicated formally on September 3 2018.
Bannerman Resources also highlighted that the license which the company applied in December 2009 was rejected due to low uranium prices.
“The Honourable Minister’s decision was not unexpected and Bannerman retains the right to re-apply for a mining license when the uranium market recovers,” the company said in its report.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism had granted Bannerman Environmental Clearances for the Etango project in 2010 and for the project’s Linear Infrastructure in 2012, both of which are important pre-requisites for a mining licence.
In 2016, Bannerman Resources acquired rights to renew its 100% owned Etango uranium project that is situated on Exclusive Prospecting Licence 3345 (EPL 3345) in the Erongo region and to provide an update on the application for Mining Licence 161.
The application to renew EPL3345 was lodged on 26 January 2015 and the notice of preparedness to grant the renewal was subsequently received in early 2016 from the MME outlining the terms and conditions under which the EPL would be renewed.
In addition to standard renewal terms and conditions, the MME required Bannerman to submit a proposal for local Namibian ownership, employment of historically disadvantaged Namibians and a broader corporate social responsibility plan. The company understands that this proposal was required of all EPL renewal applicants.
Bannerman also submitted a proposal that included local ownership provisions that are consistent with the Mining Charter published by the Namibian Chamber of Mines.
Earlier this year Confidente reported that, Bannerman resources planned to raise A$8-million through the placement of more than 173.9-million shares to institutional and sophisticated investors.
The placement was priced at 4.6c a share, representing a 9.2% discount to the company’s ten-day volume weighted average price.
“I am delighted with the strong level of support shown from existing shareholders in the equity raising. I am also pleased to welcome more than a dozen new institutional investors to the Bannerman register,” said CEO Brandon Munro at the time.
The Etango Uranium Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped uranium projects. It is one of the few uranium projects in the world with a completed Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and environmental permitting and will be a top 10 producer once developed.
Based on the DFS, production is expected to be 7-9 million pounds U3O8 per year for the first five years and 6-8 million pounds U3O8 per year thereafter. It will have a minimum mine life of 16 years with significant expansion potential through the conversion of existing Inferred Resource as well as the deposit being open at depth and along strike.
Etango is considered by Bannerman to be a low technical and environmental risk project, with conventional open pit mining and sulphuric acid heap leaching at 20 million tonnes per annum.
The Etango licence area (EPL 3345) is approximately 500 square kms.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015