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WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week is Lotus’s uranium projects in Botswana and Malawi

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WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week is Lotus’s uranium projects in Botswana and Malawi
Lotus Resources’ Letlhakane uranium project is located about 50km from Francistown, a major population centre. Francistown will be an important source of skilled labour during development and operations. Image credit: Lotus Resources.

WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week is Lotus’s uranium projects in Botswana and Malawi

ASX listed Lotus Resources is advancing the Letlhakane uranium project in Botswana and restarting Kayelekera in Malawi.

By Leon Louw owner of WhyAfrica and editor of the WhyAfrica magazine.    

With uranium in vogue again as the world’s appetite for nuclear energy returns after a 14-year hiatus in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Africa’s uranium deposits are luring intrepid explorers back to the continent shores.

While uranium discoveries and restarting mothballed operations in traditional uranium producing countries like Namibia have drawn most attention, there are several other prospective uranium hunting endeavours in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania that we are tracking and following.

ASX listed Lotus Resources is implementing a programme to unlock the value potential of its very promising Letlhakane uranium project in Botswana, while the company remains focused on restarting the Kayelekera uranium project in Malawi as soon as possible to benefit from the current strong and increasing uranium prices.

Key to growth strategy

According to Lotus’ Managing Director Keith Bowes, Letlhakane in Botswana is located in one in one of the top ranked global mining jurisdictions in the world and has the potential to be a long-life asset.

“Letlhakane is key to our long-term growth strategy. Lotus has developed a detailed initial program of work that aims to leverage Lotus’s proven uranium skills to maximise Letlhakane’s potential, including updating the Letlhakane mineral resource model and undertaking studies to determine potential of upgrading Letlhakane ore to target a more efficient processing route.

“While Letlhakane is considered a key growth asset for the company, Lotus remains firmly focused on restarting the Kayelekera Project in Malawi,” says Bowes.

Enhancing the project pipeline

Letlhakane, a large-scale uranium resource, was acquired by Lotus in 2023 to enhance and extend its production project pipeline.

Letlhakane has a large resource base of 269Mt at 321ppm U3O8 for 190Mlb contained uranium, of which 22% is Measured and Indicated.

Soft material makes for easy and cost-effective mining, with free digging and no drill and blast required.

According to Bowes tenure and approvals are well advanced, with a Mining Licence (ML) in place since 2016 and a Prospecting Licence granted in April 2023 for prospective areas to the east of the ML.

“Provisional Surface Rights have also been granted over the ML, with water abstraction rights and rights to install boreholes also in place.

“The Letlhakane project is located close to high quality infrastructure, with a sealed road, rail line and power line running past the ML,” says Bowes.

Francistown, a major population centre, is within 50km and will be an important source of skilled labour during development and operations.

“Previous owners completed a Feasibility Study in 2015, as well as various other targeted follow-up programs.

“Following a detailed review of these previous studies by Lotus management, it has identified key areas of value enhancement, utilising its expertise and knowledge gained during the re-start Feasibility Study performed at the company’s Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Malawi.”

On the same geological zone  

Letlhakane is located within a wider regional geology known as the Karoo Sandstones. Lotus’ Kayelekera project sits in the same broad geological zone and Lotus’ work at Kayelekera that considered beneficiation and acid consumption was also considered in Letlhakane’s preliminary assessment.

Lotus owns an 85% interest in the Kayelekera Project in Malawi, and 100% of the Letlhakane Uranium Project in Botswana. The Kayelekera Project hosts a current resource of 51.1Mlbs U3O8, and historically produced ~11MIb of uranium between 2009 and 2014.

The Company completed a positive Restart Study which has determined an Ore Reserve of 23Mlbs U3O8 and demonstrated that Kayelekera can support a viable operation. The Letlhakane Project hosts a current resource of 190.4Mlbs U3O8.

WhyAfrica will visit a number of uranium projects, including Kayelekera, during the 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip. This year we will travel through the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. We will attempt to visit close to 30 projects during our 40+ day adventure. There are several partnership opportunities available, so let us know if you would like to be part of this unique African story.

 WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week is Lotus’s uranium projects in Botswana and Malawi

WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week is Lotus’s uranium projects in Botswana and Malawi
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