Australian company Marenica Energy has signed an agreement to provide its U-pgrade technology for developing Deep Yellow’s Tumas Project in Namibia. 

The project is located in the Erongo region close to three major uranium processing plants.

Deep Yellow will use the technology in return for a long-term licence fee, which is equal to around 25% of the project’s net present value (NPV). 

The companies believe that the agreement has the potential to lower the uranium price obstacle for Tumas.

"Namibia is highly supportive of the uranium mining industry."

Marenica Energy managing director Murray Hill said: “We have long identified Deep Yellow’s Tumas project as a good fit for our first commercialisation agreement, based on the project’s high-suitability for our technology, the project’s relatively advanced stage of development and the excellent cultural fit between the two companies.

“Importantly, the project is located in Namibia, a jurisdiction that is highly supportive of the uranium mining industry and with operating uranium mines in close proximity that could take the U-pgrade concentrate.”

Under the agreement, Deep Yellow will receive a licence to use U-pgrade for all its existing projects in Namibia. In return, Marenica will receive a licence fee for uranium sold by the project during the complete life of the U-pgrade plant.

Deep Yellow will be responsible for funding all project development expenditure including the total cost of a pilot plant.

In addition, the company will pay fees to Marenica during the feasibility study and development phase.

Recently, Deep Yellow completed a metallurgical testwork programme at Tumas using the Marenica U-pgrade technology. Tests revealed that the ore is capable of producing a concentrate containing around 3% of the mined mass.