Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia is a subsidiary of Bannerman Energy of Australia. It owns the Etango Uranium Project situated in the Namib Desert, by road some 38 km east of Swakopmund.
Over 300 000 m of drilling were completed during the exploration phase. Etango has benefited from extensive exploration and feasibility activity over the past 15 years. This includes detailed feasibility work on a large-scale development of Etango that culminated in the 2012 Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS 2012) and a 2015 DFS Optimisation Study (OS 2015). Etango possesses a World class uranium mineral resource endowment of 207 Mlbs U3O8. The deposit has a low strip ratio of 2.8 and is well located for external infrastructure requirements including road, rail, water, electricity and a deep water port. Environmental permitting is in place for the proposed Etango mine and all associated external infrastructure.
The construction of a pilot Heap Leach Demonstration Plant was completed in March 2015 and test work started a month later. The results strongly support the DFS with fast leach extraction (92% within 22 days), low acid consumption (13.6 kg/t) and excellent material properties with a clean leach solution with no evidence of build-up of deleterious elements occurring during the recycling of the leach solution. The plant ran as a pilot plant until 2020, and comprehensively de-risked the proposed heap leaching processing method for Etango, allowed optimisation of processing parameters and generated a large database of processing data.
Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia has had no lost time injuries to employees or contractors for 13 years. All drill sites from the exploration phase have been rehabilitated. The company focuses on continued safe operations.
In August 2020, a Scoping Study on the development of Etango at an 8 Mtpa throughput rate (Etango-8) was completed. The Etango-8 Scoping Study was heavily informed by the detailed study work undertaken across all relevant disciplines as part of the DFS 2012 and the OS 2015, and operation of the Heap Leach Demonstration Plant. The Scoping Study demonstrated that this accelerated, streamlined project is strongly amenable to development – both technically and economically.
In August 2021, a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on Etango-8 was completed. The PFS has confirmed the strong technical and economic viability of conventional open pit mining and heap leach processing of the world-class Etango deposit at 8 Mtpa throughput. The level of planning rigour for Etango-8 has been bolstered through the PFS process via the inclusion of dual pit ramps in the northern and central pits, detailed plant design and higher accuracy estimation.
Currently, Bannerman Resources’ Etango-Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is progressing to plan, with flow sheet design and process plant geotechnical field work being completed. The target for the completion of the DFS is the fourth quarter of 2022. The environment clearance certificate for the proposed Etango Uranium Mine was also renewed by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism during 2021. The world class deposit is expected to deliver over 3.5 million lbs U3O8 per annum over an initial operating life of more than 14 years.
Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, and has supported a number of community programmes such as the Erongo Development Foundation (support of 7 underprivileged school leavers for vocational training at NIMT, support SME development in the Erongo Region); Early Learner Assistance Programme; support to Namushasha Lodge and Mbukushu Traditional Village (Zambezi Region) and conservancies attached to Palmwag Lodge (Kunene Region) to train lodge employees on interpersonal communication and hospitality skills; support to the School Fund of Camp Chobe/Salambala Conservancy (Zambezi Region); assistance for teachers in the Erongo Region to raise the educational standard; support to anti – poaching campaigns (Kunene Region); participation in the Erongo Regional Road Safety Forum and West Coast Safety Initiative; contributions to the Walvisbay & Swakopmund Mayoral Development Funds; bursary for Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Radiation Science to Uranium Institute; support of the Hospitality Association of Namibia to stage its annual awards evening; and support of ‘Tourism supporting conservation’ and the Namibia Wildlife Society.
Partnering with communities, focusing on education, poverty eradication and tourism, is ongoing and will remain a key aspect of Bannerman Mining Resources Namibia’s operations.