Toro Research Spurs WA Uranium Scoping Study

Toro Energy has initiated a scoping study for a standalone Lake Maitland uranium-vanadium mining and processing operation after identifying a beneficiation step to reduce costs at its Wiluna uranium project.
The Lake Maitland uranium deposit is just one of four deposits that form part of Toro’s fully owned Wiluna uranium project in WA’s northern Goldfields region 710km north-east of Perth.
As a result of Toro’s recent research, the company developed an updated processing flowsheet that includes a beneficiation step that produces a low-mass, high-grade uranium concentrate.
The company says the step improved efficiencies in deposits with high clay content like the Lake Maitland site that also hosts 75 to 80 per cent of the project’s mineral resources.
The scoping study will include a complete engineering build and operational assessment from mining of the Lake Maitland resource through beneficiation, processing and treatment, to production of a ready to transport product for both uranium and vanadium.
Recent research that illustrates how vanadium could be successfully produced, at a small marginal cost, as a by-product of the leaching and treatment of the potential Lake Maitland uranium ore is also likely to form part of the broader body of work.
Toro believes the redesigned flowsheet has the potential to significantly enhance the technical and financial feasibility of the Wiluna uranium project especially at Lake Maitland.
Additional research has also justified the potential of major cost reductions for a stand-alone Lake Maitland operation including a beneficiation circuit that delivers a 76 per cent reduction in mass with a high uranium recovery of up to 84 per cent.
The increased uranium concentration means a significant drop in reagent cost and a decrease in the size of the leach tank in addition to less time in the leach circuit.
Whilst the company did not reach the substantial commencement condition of state environmental approvals for the Wiluna uranium project, Toro is hopeful that favourable study results may allow an extension or the opportunity for an amendment.
The project is centred on Toro’s planned processing facility located 30km south of the town of Wiluna in the northern goldfields of Western Australia.
The project contains a resource of more than 80 million pounds of uranium oxide.
Toro says Japan’s Prime Minister recently announced the country will commence planning for nuclear plant re-starts and the development of next generation reactors.
With favourable research results and the potential for significant cost reduction in the processing phase of production, countries like Japan will be on the lookout for companies like Toro to see how they may provide quality uranium to meet demand.