U-pgrade™ - Technology that is set to unlock the potential of major global surficial uranium deposits.
U-pgrade™ is Marenica Energy Ltd’s (MEY) processing technology (provisional patent held). It is applicable to calcrete-hosted, and a number of other surficial, uranium deposits. On ore samples from the Marenica Uranium Project it has been shown to deliver:
- An upgrade in uranium concentration of approximately 50 times at a recovery of over >70% by rejecting nearly 99% of the waste material (gangue),
- Significantly improved economics by major reductions in calculated capital and operating costs,
- Similar results in sea water, which is particularly beneficial in a dry environment such as Namibia,
- Reduced social and environmental impact per pound of annual production compared to ‘conventional’ technology.
U-pgrade™ is an invaluable technology at any time and particularly in the current economic downturn and the low uranium price environment in which we find ourselves. It provides the potential to dramatically increase the profitability of medium to higher grade surficial deposits, as well as transform the lower grade ones such as those found at Marenica’s site in Namibia, from sub-economic into economic.
U-pgrade™positions MEY to offer attractive economic prospects to major surficial global uranium deposits, helping to provide a low-cost energy source for the future. The global uranium market has strong underlying supply/demand fundamentals despite the current low spot price.
Demand for uranium is about to exceed supply with the following market forecasts being reliably indicated
- Russia’s 20-year deal to sell recycled uranium warheads expires in 2014 (up to 25Mlbs of annual supply removed).
- Major growth economies like China and India have reiterated plans to increase nuclear capacity
- Around 550 reactors worldwide are in operating, planning, construction or proposed phases, with around 426 currently operating
- Some commentators expect a demand / supply shortfall from 2017 and forecast prices of US$70 per pound in 2016 and beyond.
Marenica Energy Ltd is prepared for the short and long term future with its U-pgrade™ technology. Marenica expects that its U-pgrade™ technology can benefit most surficial uranium mines in operation right now, by reducing operating costs and improving efficiencies, as well as allowing a lower cut-off grade to be applicable, thereby extending mine life and reducing mining costs. The technology will also allow current low grade surficial deposits to be deemed economic at lower trigger uranium prices than would otherwise be the case.
Marenica Energy Limited will play a significant role in improving the future cost effectiveness of uranium production together with a reduction in the social and environmental impacts of such projects.