Aura assisting Sweden in climate-neutral quest

Amid the Swedish government announcing an inquiry into the ban on mining uranium, Aura Energy (ASX:AEE) says its Häggån Project can assist the country with becoming climate-neutral and energy independent. 

The Swedish government announced on 23 February 2024 the launch of an inquiry to overturn the existing uranium mining ban, which will investigate the regulatory changes needed to make uranium extraction legal and analyse whether mining of uranium should be allowed when it is not a nuclear activity. 

The conclusion will be presented on 15 May 2024. 

Aura, which has a market capitalisation of $141.15 million, intends to file for processing concessions for Häggån K1 during 2024 with the Swedish Mining Inspectorate.

Once the results of the inquiry are published, the government can choose to go forward with a legislative proposal to parliament. 

Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari says: “If the European union is to become the first climate-neutral continent, access to sustainable metals and minerals must be ensured. 

We need to use the uranium we have, instead of sorting it out and considering it as waste, as is the case now — due to the current ban on mining uranium.”

The company’s Häggån project contains 800 million pounds of triuranium octoxide (U3O8).

Sweden currently uses 2.4 million pounds of U3O8 annually in its 3 nuclear reactors and has committed to building 2 additional nuclear reactors by 2035. Aura says Häggån can potentially supply a ‘significant’ portion of Sweden’s nuclear fuel requirements. 

Aura Energy Chief Executive Officer Andrew Grove says this announcement is considered a ‘logical’ step by the Swedish government towards permitting extracting uranium domestically to meet its own and others’ needs. 

“It is the start of a process which I hope will result in new legislation that not only makes it legally possible to mine uranium, but also provides a predictable permit process for uranium extraction alongside the mining of other metals. 

Häggån is a polymetallic asset where uranium is only a minor component, although a component with significant value for Sweden. It makes sense economically and environmentally to make full use of these resources. 

Releasing the value of uranium within the Häggån Project has a significantly positive economic impact on an already robust project. 

The Swedish government’s stated aim aligns well with the ability to mine domestic uranium, reducing dependency and strengthening domestic and European energy supply. It is of course essential that uranium is mined in a way that does not threaten the local environment or water supply, and I am certain that we will be able to demonstrate that within the framework of the Swedish permit process.”

Aura notes that uranium has the potential to increase the Häggån Project net present value (NPV) by 37% and adds 14% to revenue from the current Scoping Study NPV range of $456 million to US$1,307 million. 

Häggån lies in the municipality of Berg in the country of Jamtland. The primary metals in the project are vanadium and sulphate of potash (SOP), alongside uranium, nickel, molybdenum, and zinc. 

Aura Energy is an Australian-based mineral explorer with ‘major’ uranium and polymetallic projects in Africa and Europe. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $5.869 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Aura Energy 
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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.