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Lotus’ Kayelekera in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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Lotus Resources is reviving the Kayelekera uranium project in the north of Malawi. Image credit: Lotus Resources

Lotus’ Kayelekera in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

With nuclear energy being recognised as a viable solution to the world’s current energy crisis, uranium projects like ASX listed Lotus Resources’ Kayelekera in the north of Malawi are drawing increasing attention again.     

Although Kayelekera is still on care and maintenance, Lotus has done a lot of work to get the project up and running within the next few years. According to Keith Bowes, Managing Director of Lotus Resources, the Kayelekera Uranium Project is the fourth largest uranium asset globally by historical annual production currently on care and maintenance.

Kayelekera produced about 11 million pounds (MIbs) of uranium (U3O8) between 2009 and 2014, before the mine was shut down to preserve its longevity due to a sustained low uranium price.

Bowes says that the Lotus team has worked hard to position Kayelekera to be one of the first projects to recommence uranium production in the future.

Lotus released the results of a Re-Start Scoping Study to the market in October 2020 and initiated a series of key technical studies that Bowes says are key value drivers for the project.

Lotus also increased its ownership of the Kayelekera asset to 85%. The remaining 15% is held by the Government of Malawi.

After the company renewed its mining license for another 15 years, they embarked upon the first drill campaign at Kayelekera since 2007.

Improving the potential and efficiencies (Lotus’ Kayelekera in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week)

Bowes explains that Re-Start Scoping Study highlighted Kayelekera as a project that can restart quickly with apotential14-year life of mine producing more than 23Mlbs U3O8.

“More importantly it has one of the lowest initial capital costs (USD50- million) to recommence production,” says Bowes.

This envious position of low capital costs will be a major differentiator for Lotus going forward as in  the  coming  years cost  escalation  across  the  resources  sector is likely  to  become a  significant obstacle  in  the industry.

Bowes says that the company has identified four areas of improvement to reduce operating costs and improve efficiencies.

These areas of improvement are energy, acid recovery, increasing the feed grades and the redesign and expansion of the tailings dam’s capacity.

WhyAfrica will visit the north of Malawi as part of its annual Road Trip in August and September this year.  

During our Road Trip we will visit more than 30 project sites in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Zimbabwe or Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled and indispensable insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites that we visit.

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To view the photos of last year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/.

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WhyAfrica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and extraction of natural resources in Africa.

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management