Aurora Energy nears completion of AUP Scoping Study

Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) is nearing the completion of a Scoping Study for its flagship Aurora Uranium Project (AUP) in Oregon, USA, with the final stages to conclude in Q2 2024.

The Perth-based uranium explorer, which has a market capitalisation of $21 million, has outlined a potential 11-year life of mine (LOM), targeting a production rate of 2 million tonnes per year. 

Aurora Energy believes that there is capacity to increase the production rate, but this was not within the scope of the study. 

Chairman Peter Lester says the results to date have demonstrated a viable pathway to development and sound economic potential. 

“The study shows a simple mine plan and practical options for transporting material to our proposed process facility on private land in Nevada,” he says.

“The plant’s location on a previous mine access road is an ideal site with access to power and other infrastructure, saving considerable capital costs and allowing us to operate the plant under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the well-established Nevada permitting regime. 

“Metallurgical testwork is continuing, with results to date confirming the ability to beneficiate the mineralised uranium and we are evaluating a number of processing options. We are awaiting completion of additional tests before confirming a preferred process route and expect this work to be complete early next quarter.”

Mining consultant orelogy was commissioned to complete the scoping-level mining study, including overall site layout and a conceptual tailings storage facility (TSF) design.

While the processing plant is planned for location on Aurora’s private land in Nevada, which encompasses a 410-acre area, the TSF is proposed to sit nearby on unpatented mining claims held by Aurora. 

The mine plan incorporates a progressive backfilling mining method designed to minimise project footprint and environmental impact. 

Aurora reports beneficiation testwork has shown average mine grades of 385 parts per million (ppm) used in the study could be upgraded to a feed grade above 480ppm into leach circuit. 

The company’s project development strategy is initially focused on the near-surface, geologically modelled, high-grade zone of the project’s mineral resource. 

Despite the scope of today’s interim report, Aurora Energy metals stressed that it is not a complete Scoping Study, and that the relevant financial metrics and modelling will be included in the final Scoping Study report, due next quarter.

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $2.637 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

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Images: Aurora Energy Metals
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.