Lotus updates Letlhakane uranium resource ahead of Scoping Study  

Lotus Resources (ASX:LOT) has delivered an updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its Letlhakane Uranium Project in Botswana, Africa, which it hopes will support a Scoping Study scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2024. 

The revised MRE sits at 155.3 million tonnes @ 345 parts per million (ppm) triuranium octoxide (U3O8) for 118.2 million pounds (Mlbs) U3O8, including 34.4Mlbs in indicated resources based on a 200ppm U3O8 cut-off grade. 

Lotus completed a pit-constrained resource estimate to better understand the potential size and economics of the Letlhakane Project. 

The company says the revised MRE confirms Letlhakane as a large-scale project that extends 10km north to south and 8km east to west.

According to Lotus, the project has a higher grade resource than most other African uranium projects, and the resource scale and production potential is in line with other primary uranium assets, including Deep Yellow’s (ASX:DYL) Tumas Project and Bannerman Energy’s (ASX:BMN) Etango Project.  

Lotus notes there is potential for mining to target higher grade portions of the deposit in the early years of the operation based on higher cut-off grades. 

Lotus also owns the Kayelekera Project in Malawi, which is set to restart uranium production in 2025. The company acquired Letlhakane in late 2023 and has since then spent time assessing more than a decade’s worth of historical work. 

Lotus will progress the Letlhakane development in conjunction with the Kayelekera restart.  

Managing Director Keith Bowes says Letlhakane exceeds the company’s initial expectations and that it has the capacity to be “a major uranium producing asset for a very long time”.

“By combining our Letlhakane and Kayelekera assets, Lotus can potentially produce more than 6Mlb U3O8 a year,” he says. 

“This underlines our position as one of the largest uranium developers on the ASX via our transformative acquisition of A-Cap Energy last year. We are now focused on completing the necessary mining studies, beneficiation testing, process flowsheet development and costing work so we can prepare a Scoping Study for release by the end of the year.”

In the interim, Lotus is preparing a preliminary geometallurgical model this quarter to help optimise the mine plan based on acid consumption and uranium extraction, as well as preliminary mining study focused on pit optimisation using the updated resource model.

The company is also eyeing a spout of infill drilling from this quarter towards the end of the year to convert the most economic parts of the resource to measured and indicated status.

A technical study on Letlhakane completed in 2015 outlined a life-of-mine of 18 years with an average production rate of 2.4 million-pounds-per-annum (Mlbpa), peaking at 3.75Mlbpa.    

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Lotus
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.