Lotus Resources Limited says its recent drilling programme has expanded the mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Kayelekera Project in Karonga by 23 percent, raising the lifespan for the mine.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Australian mining firm said the increase in the MRE for Kayelekera to 46.3Mlbs at 500 parts per million (ppm) U3O8, will be incorporated in the new mine plan for the definitive feasibility study for the firm set for release mid this year.
Reads the statement in part: “We completed a 35-hole [about 4 533 metres] reverse circulation drill programme at Kayelekera mine.
“The results included in the updated MRE which included the two metres at 2 541ppm U3O8 from nine metres [LRC021], three metres at 829ppm U3O8 from 13 metres [LRC022] and three metres at 919ppm U3O8 from 53 metres [LRC023].”
The updated MRE, according to the firm, represents a three percent increase on the reported global metal content to the previous MRE and a further 20 percent increase when using the updated cut-off grade of 200ppm U3O8.
Mining expert Grain Malunga has since described expansion as a positive development towards the growth of the mining sector in Malawi.
“This is good news not only for the miner, but for the country as well as it means more years of mining which certainly entails more revenue for the country during the mining period,” he said.
The firm’s managing director Keith Bowes is on record as having said the exploration process is encouraging and would have a positive impact on the existing mineral resource.
Last year, government renewed Lotus Resources Limited mining licence for 15 years. Kayelekera Uranium Mine, Malawi’s biggest mining venture to date, was placed on care and maintenance since February 2014 following the tumbling of global uranium prices in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, which forced the closure of nuclear power plants across the world.