Toro Energy begins pilot plant planning

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) has begun drill planning on its Wiluna Uranium-Vanadium Project in Western Australia, aiming to deliver potential ore to its pilot plant that is currently in design. 

Executive Chairman Richard Homsany says the company is continuing to accelerate key development activities, with the pilot plant being a crucial step in substantiating the project’s scale and underlying value. 

“Wiluna is set to play a key role in the global transition to cleaner energy by supplying economies committed to decarbonisation with the necessary strategic resources.

The outcome of our pilot plant program will significantly inform Toro’s objective to identify and develop the most economically feasible version of the Wiluna Uranium Project.” 

Toro, which has a market capitalisation of $48.71 million, says drilling will comprise ‘large’ diameter sonic core that will be able to preserve the ore zone within alternating hard cemented dolomitic carbonate and soft clay in near surface unconsolidated sediments, the host to the Wiluna U-V mineralisation. 

Enough holes will be drilled to provide about 20 dry tonnes of potential ore to the pilot plant in Perth. 

Drill planning will be designed to cover a representative sample of all potential ore types across all 3 of the project’s deposits, including Lake Maitland, Centipede-Millipede, and Lake Way. 

Toro says drill planning will also include a review of the current geological model and resource block model to ensure optimal representation of geology and grade through the pilot size mill. 

Homsany says: “The upside from here is considerable, not only because of the strong uranium market environment, but also as a result of striving to unlock the inherent optimisations that exist within Wiluna across all 3 deposits. 

The financial outcomes at Wiluna are expected to be proven as large and transformational. We look forward to providing updates on our progress, as we continue to embrace a strengthening global uranium market and shifting community attitudes towards supporting nuclear energy and the role of Australian uranium mining.”

The pilot plant construction is anticipated to begin mid-year this year, assuming no unexpected delays. 

The pilot plant aims to test the entirety of the bench scale research completed by Toro to date, at a closer to production scale, as well as all of the components of the newly proposed processing circuit that were tested on an individual basis, within a production flow stream for the first time. 

‘Importantly’, Toro says the plant will be designed to go beyond the Lake Maitland stand-alone operation and assume an extended mining operation to the Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede deposits. 

Further, the plant will test the new processing technique on potential bulk ore from Centipede-Millipede alongside Lake Way. 

Currently, the company is working on a refresh and update of the Lake Maitland Scoping Study to evaluate financial outcomes using the latest ‘more favourable’ commodity pricing and exchange rate guidance. 

Toro Energy is a uranium-focused explorer and developer with assets in Western Australia. The company is currently working to become Australia’s newest uranium producer via its Wiluna project. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had about $2.805 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest interim financial report. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Toro 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.