Care and Maintenance
- >5 year remaining mine life
- 10.9Mlb – production before being placed in care and maintenance in 2014
- Uranium production capacity of approximately 3Mlbpa upon restart
Fully-built mine commissioned in 2008 with circa 3Mlbpa of uranium production capacity.
Kayelekera Mine is located in northern Malawi, 52km west (by road) of the provincial town of Karonga and 12km south of the main road that connects Karonga with the township of Chitipa to the west.
Kayelekera is wholly owned through Paladin (Africa) Limited (PAL), a subsidiary of Paladin. In July 2009, Paladin issued 15% of equity in PAL to the Government of Malawi under the terms of the Development Agreement signed between PAL and the Government in February 2007, which established the fiscal regime and development framework for Kayelekera Mine.
The Mining Licence, ML152, covering 5,520 hectares, was granted in April 2007 for a period of 15 years, following the completion of the Development Agreement with the Government of Malawi. A Bankable Feasibility Study and EIA followed, and construction started in June 2007 with completion in early 2009.
Kayelekera produced 10.9Mlb between 2007 and 2014. Once uranium prices offer sufficient incentive for restart, production, with some RIP/elution upgrades, is expected to be approximately 3Mlbpa.
As a consequence of the continuing weakness in the uranium spot price, Paladin placed Kayelekera into care and maintenance in 2014. It is expected that production will recommence once the uranium price provides a sufficient incentive and grid power supply (ESCOM) is available on site to replace the existing diesel generators.
During care and maintenance the project will be maintained and secured with adequate staffing.
MINERAL RESOURCES AND ORE RESERVES ESTIMATION
Mineral resources and ore reserves conforming to the JORC (2012) code are detailed below:
Malawi | Kayelekera
|Ore Reserves||Mt||Grade ppm
Malawi | Kayelekera | 30 June 2018
|Mineral Resources||Mt||Grade ppm
History of Kayelekera Mine (KM)
|1982||The Central Electricity Generating Board of Great Britain (CEGB) discovered the Kayelekera sandstone uranium deposit in 1982|
|1992||The project was abandoned in 1992 due largely to the poor uranium outlook, as well as privatisation of CEGB and resultant pressure to return to its core business|
|1998||In 1998, Paladin acquired a 90% interest in Kayelekera through a joint venture with Balmain Resources Pty Ltd, which then held exploration rights over the Project area|
|2005||In July 2005, Paladin acquired the regaining 10% interest in Kayelekera held by Balmain|
|2005||Paladin announced the go-ahead of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) as a result of improved economics shown by the pre-feasibility work|
|2007||After completing the Development Agreement with the Malawi Government, the BFS and a full Environmental Impact Assessment, the Mining Licence (ML 152) covering 5,550 hectares, was granted in April 2007 for a period of 15 years|
|2008||Open pit mining commenced in June 2008 to develop initial stockpiles|
|2009||Commissioning began in January 2009, with first production achieved in April 2009|
|2010||KM continued to ramp-up its production volumes and commercial production was declared from 1 July 2010|
|2012||Paladin made substantial positive steps towards design capacity of 3.3Mlbpa through a programme of plant upgrades aimed at addressing bottlenecks. The focus at KM turned to production optimisation (nano-filtration technology) representing a key element|
|2013||The plant achieved record annual production totaling 2.963Mlb for FY2013|
|2014||Continuing low uranium prices resulted in a decision to place the Project in care and maintenance in February 2014|