Aura Energy (ASX:AEE) has kicked off a 15,500m drilling program at its Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania to potentially grow the mineral resource of the Tiris East zone.
Through this drilling work, Aura aims to define additional resources from the Exploration Target of between 30 million tonnes (Mt) and 60 Mt at between 120 parts per million (ppm) and 140 ppm triuranium octoxide (U3O8) for between 8 million and 32 million pounds of U3O8.
Aura, which has a $168.26 million market capitalisation, plans to drill 7 targets at Tiris East and believes this work could extend the existing Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) in the area, which currently stands at 113 Mt @ 236 ppm U3O8 for 58.9 million pounds of contained U3O8.
Since the company discovered the Tiris project, it has drilled 19,000m in the region.
Aura says that a successful outcome from this new drilling program could elevate Tiris towards a ‘globally significant’ uranium project. The planned work follows on from an enhanced Feasibility Study for the project that Aura says ‘significantly’ increased the project’s net present value.
Managing Director David Woodall says this new exploration program is an ‘important step’ for the company in realising its internal growth strategy.
“Aura Energy is undertaking this program because we believe the Tiris Uranium Project can grow to represent a globally significant uranium province.
The Enhanced Feasibility Study illustrated that the simple mining method and beneficiation at Tiris deliver a huge economic advantage, with a potential to scale U3O8 production beyond the currently planned production of 2 Mlbs U3O8 per annum.
Our early-stage activities indicate that we have the potential to expand our mineral resources towards 100Mlbs of U3O8 within the existing tenements.”
“Aura Energy is undertaking this program because we believe the Tiris Uranium Project can grow to represent a globally significant uranium province”
Woodall adds that this program marks the first stage of the company’s exploration growth strategy: Aura is awaiting the grant of 29 additional tenements for further exploration and drilling, which it hopes will grow the greater Tiris project to a global MRE of over 200 million pounds of U3O8.
“Given our exploration success and historically low cost of exploration at ~$0.20/lb U3O8, we believe we can rapidly continue significant internal resource growth at Tiris. A larger total mineral resource inventory will facilitate further project growth and optimisation.”
The Exploration Target that’s the focus of this new drilling work is contained within Tiris East and independent of both Tiris West and the recently announced extra 13,000km-square of tenements applied for by Aura within the uranium province.
Aura notes, however, that the potential quantity of the Exploration Target is ‘conceptual in nature’, and there has been insufficient exploration completed across the targeted Tiris East zones to estimate a mineral resource.
The company aims to complete the new drilling program in February 2024, with updated MREs slated for before the end of March.
Aura Energy had roughly $8.56 million cash in the bank as of September 30 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.
Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au
Images: Aura Energy