A CANADIAN firm, Denison Energy Corporation, has started pursuing uranium exploration at the Muntanga Mine in Siavonga District.
The company is a result of a merger between Fission Uranium and Denison Mines in July this year to create a US$900 million exploration and development company which would combine top uranium assets.
According to the organisations’s financial report for the first six months of the year 2015, so far in Zambia, the company’s exploration expenditures at the Muntanga project during the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 were $159,000 and $217,000, respectively.
An excavator trenching programme was completed during the second quarter of 2015, and a programme of surficial geochemistry is scheduled to follow during the second half of the year 2015.
During the same periods in 2014, exploration expenses were $161,000 and $208,000, when work included geological mapping, geochemical sampling and excavator trenching programmes at the company’s Mutanga project.
“Various monetisation options in respect of Denison’s African exploration and development portfolio, including the Falea project in Mali and the Muntanga project in Zambia, are being considered by the combined company,” the firm said.
The exploration at the Muntanga project will be fully pursued when market conditions permit.
Canada’s Denison Mines in 2013 said it would only start developing its planned uranium mine in Zambia when prices for the yellow metal rise to attractive levels.
“We need prices that are above $65 per lb of uranium oxide to make the Muntanga project feasible,” Andrew Goode, Denison’s project director for Africa at the time told the media.
Denison was planning to mine about 18.8 million tonnes of uranium ore from the Zambian project, according to information submitted to the Zambian Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
The company was undertaking further exploration work to find more resources and hopefully increase the ore grade to reduce its operating costs.
According to Ministry of Mines data, Denison intended to invest $118 million in the Muntanga project and subsequently process the ore into uranium oxide concentrate.
Two of the most promising new prospects in the area are Dibwe East Zones one and two, within the Dibwe Muntanga Corridor Area.
Airbone geophysics techniques have located numerous discoveries in the complex Karoo fluvial deposition environment for potential Uranium mineralisation.
Exploration activities will be focused on field programmes including extensive surficial geochemistry survey, surface radon, geological mapping and airborne geophysics to assist in prioritising drill targets on the property.