Uranium explorer Toro Energy has announced a 32 per cent increase in its resource in WA’s Wiluna region. In an announcement to shareholders on October 10, Toro said that a full update of its regional resource base had resulted in a total resource of 50.1 million pounds of contained uranium oxide, comprising 52.25 million tonnes at 434 parts per million for 22,641 tonnes of contained uranium at 200 parts per million uranium oxide cut-off. The Wiluna uranium project’s Centipede and Lake Way deposits were both upgraded with additional drilling, and 58 per cent of the project’s total resources are now classified as measured and indicated.
Toro managing director Greg Hall said the company was moving closer to being Australia’s next major uranium producer. “The Wiluna uranium project is evolving into an exciting uranium mine development with the intended aim of delivering first production into an expanding global nuclear power market with considerable supply constraints into the middle of this decade,” Mr Hall said. “Recent market reports indicate considerable new primary mine supply will be required, and Toro believes it will be one of a very few global uranium projects which will achieve production during this important time period.”
According to Toro, the resource upgrade of the Centipede and Lake Way deposits, and recent successful pilot plant processing test work, enhanced the continuing technical feasibility study of the Wiluna project, currently in the public review phase of assessment. Meanwhile, on October 7, Toro announced it had finalised the acquisition of two new key uranium tenements, also within the Wiluna region. The tenements cover about 70 per cent of the Nowthanna uranium deposit, near Meekathara. The company was expected to deliver a JORC resource update for the Wiluna region in October and it is presumed that
Nowthanna will constitute a portion of the revised consolidated resources. Toro has planned to commit to construction late next year, with first production scheduled for 2013. The Wiluna project has a mine life of between 10 and 14 years, producing at a rate of about 1000 tonnes per annum of uranium oxide.
By Kate Christou