Uranium developer Toro Energy is prepared to start mining additional deposits at its advanced Wiluna Uranium project in Western Australia, following the initiation of the government assessment and approval process.
The company has gained the required approvals from the Western Australian and Federal Governments for the establishment of a processing facility at Centipede and to commence mining at Wiluna's Centipede and the Lake Way deposits.
The $315m Wiluna Uranium project lies 30km away from the town of Wiluna in Western Australia, and covers an area of 1,500ha.
Based on recent studies by Toro, the Wiluna project is expected to have a lifespan of 16 years with average production of 30 million pounds from the initial four deposits.
Toro managing director Dr Vanessa Guthrie said that the company has now submitted proposals to both governments for mining of Wiluna's Millipede deposit immediately to the south-west of Centipede, and the recently acquired Lake Maitland deposit.
"We are pleased to continue to progress the Wiluna project by referring for assessment, the Millipede and Lake Maitland deposits," Guthrie said.
"Toro's over-arching Wiluna strategy is to use one central processing plant adjacent to the Centipede deposit to reduce the regional footprint and environmental impacts by avoiding a duplication of operations and infrastructure."
The company expects to complete the environmental assessment process for Millipede and Lake Maitland by mid 2016.
Toro believes that the Wiluna project will be one of the few uranium mining projects in the world that can bring new production to global markets at a time when uranium prices are set to rise in the second half of the decade.
The project is also said to have attracted interest from various potential joint venture partners for investments and offtake arrangements.