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Aura Energy Limited (AEE)
is a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
About Aura Energy Limited
Aura Energy is an Australian based uranium company that has major uranium projects with large resources in Europe and Africa. Since listing in 2006, it has rapidly grown by acquiring new projects in areas with known uranium occurrences such as Sweden, and greenfields areas such as Mauritania. Aura's focus is now on the Häggån Project, located in Sweden's Alum Shale Province, one of the largest depositories of uranium in the world; and the highly prospective Reguibat Province in Mauritania.
The company is driving growth by having established JORC compliant resources in Sweden and Mauritania. Considerable potential exists to expand resources in both countries, led by a strengthened board and highly experienced management team.
These locations have a strong history of mining and are committed to their mining industries. Sweden has a well-developed nuclear power industry that is a significant contributor to the economy.
Their projects worldwide include:
- Häggån Project
- Kallsedet Project
- Reguibat Project
- Tim Mersoi Basin Applications
Ownership: 100% Aura
Location: Storsjön District in Sweden
Coverage Area: 110 km2
JORC Compliant Inferred Resource: 800 million pounds U3O8
Grade: Average grade of 160 ppm U3O8 plus credits from co-products: molybdenum, vanadium, nickel and zinc
Status: Scoping Study update complete
Aura's wholly owned Häggån Project is in the top two largest undeveloped uranium resources globally, covering 110 square kilometres in the Storsjön District in Central Sweden. The Häggån Project forms part of a large uranium field where the uranium occurs with molybdenum, nickel, vanadium and zinc in black shales. The first uranium operation from the Alum Shale began at Kvarntorp in southern Sweden in 1965. The shales form a near continuous sheet throughout the section of the project that Aura drilled in its 2008 -2011 programmes, with thicknesses ranging between 20 metres to more than 250 metres.
In August 2012, independent resource consultants Hellman & Schofield Pty Ltd established an upgrade to the JORC inferred resource at Häggån from 630 to 800 million pounds of uranium at 100ppm cut-off, with significant potential for further increases to the resource.
Aura conducted a review of its 2012 Häggån Scoping Study completed by independent consultants RMDSTEM Limited in late 2013 using smaller options than the original 30 million tonnes per annum used. Results demonstrated robust project financials with derived cash costs in the lower half of the uranium sector curve and confirmed the Häggån project has excellent potential to become a major, low cost producer of uranium, with by-products including nickel and other metals.
In relation to metallurgical testwork, Aura has received exceptional results from two stages of bacterial heap leaching, with tests indicating up to 85% uranium extraction, as well as 58% nickel and 18% molybdenum. Bacterial heap leaching is a widely-used, low cost extraction technology which has demonstrated value at the Talvivaara nickel copper mine in Finland.
Ownership: 100% Aura
Location: near Kallsedet, Sweden, close to the Norwegian border
Coverage Area: 147 km2
Assay Test Results: Average of 100 to 233 ppm U3O8
Status: Drilling programme completed
Aura's wholly owned Kallsedet Project covers 147 square kilometres near Kallsedet in Sweden, close to the Norwegian border. The area was explored by the Swedish government in the 1970s, where they found good grades of uranium, although at lesser thicknesses than at Häggån.
Aura anticipates that a large proportion of its permits in Kallsedet are underlain by the Alum Shale. In addition, fieldwork in the area has identified a number of radiometrically anomalous zones corresponding with the position of the Alum Shale. Aura is highly encouraged by the consistent values obtained from surface rock-chip sampling.
Research has also shown that parts of the shale are relatively high grade. For example, one sample collected by the Swedish Geological Survey contained 304 ppm uranium, and one sample collected by Aura contained 233 ppm uranium. In addition, 19 out of 81 samples contained greater than 100ppm uranium, despite surface leaching. Surface radioactivity is at a level above that found in the Storsjön Project area. The shale contains no calcite veining, which may enhance metal extraction.
Aura's 2011 four-hole diamond drilling programme over 419 metres returned promising results, revealing thick, mineralised intersections varying from 12 to 98 metres in cumulative thickness. The results confirmed the widespread occurrence of uraniferous shale in the Project Area and the potential for Aura to establish another significant deposit in Sweden.
Reguibat Craton Project
Ownership: 8 wholly-owned permits
Location: Reguibat Craton in Northern Mauritania
Area held: 4800 km2
JORC Compliant Inferred Resource: 49 million pounds U3O8
Grade: Average grade of 334 ppm U3O8
Status: Benefication testing completed, scoping study underway
Aura commenced exploration on the Reguibat Craton in Northern Mauritania in 2007 after initially being attracted to the Reguibat region by the existence of very strong uranium radiometric anomalies in airborne geophysical data.
In July 2011, Aura established its first high-grade JORC inferred resource for the Reguibat project of 49 million pounds at 334 ppm uranium, based on a cut-off grade of 100 ppm uranium. Results confirmed the extensive nature of the calcrete uranium mineralisation and the presence of one of the world's larger calcrete uranium resources in this emerging uranium province.
Drilling in 2012 confirmed major extensions to calcrete uranium mineralisation well beyond the boundaries of current resource limits. Strong and thick mineralisation was located in areas with only minor radiometric response and uranium mineralisation was also confirmed on both sides of a +2.5 kilometre-wide sand-dune, indicating excellent potential for extensive mineralisation beneath the dune. There are many more areas also to be tested.
The uranium found at Reguibat occurs as carnotite-type calcrete mineralisation within unconsolidated coarser gravels and sands. Benefication tests have indicated that 89% of the mineralisation could be rejected to waste while retaining 86% of the uranium, representing an upgrade factor of seven to 2,476ppm uranium. Preliminary leach testwork completed in late 2013 achieved 94% uranium extraction in four hours.
These excellent results open up substantial opportunities for fast-tracked project development given the simplicity of the process and potentially significant improvement in project economics. Aura has commenced its scoping study on the Reguibat project.
Tim Mersoi Basin Project
Ownership: 100% Aura
Location: Northwest Niger
Coverage Area: 1500 km2
Status: Permit applications lodged and awaiting grants
Aura's wholly owned Tim Mersoi Basin applications are located in Northwest Niger and cover 1500 square kilometres. Niger is the world's fifth largest uranium producer, producing approximately eight million pounds of uranium per year, all from the Tim Mersoi Basin. The Niger government actively encourages uranium exploration and mining, with two new mines currently under development.
All uranium production in the country comes from sandstone-hosted deposits within sediments of the Tim Mersoi Basin, which are adjacent to and overlie rocks of the Air Massif. At least 13 individual uranium deposits are known in the area. The Tim Mersoi deposits have attractive uranium grades, typically of 0.3 to 0.6% uranium. The abundance of uranium in the district, the attractive grades, and the relative lack of exploration clearly make this area an attractive exploration target.
The Aura application areas (known as Ebadargene 1, 2 and 3) lie close to and south of the Air Massif and contain a swarm of east-northeast fault structures that, further to the west, contain uranium and associated copper. Therefore, the application areas appear to contain extensions to known mineralised structures. It is clear that fault structures, particularly east-northeast and north-south trending faults, have been influential in transmitting the mineralising ground waters within the Tim Mersoi Basin. A number of uranium deposits and occurrences lie within these structures. As far as Aura is aware, the areas have had no meaningful previous exploration.
An airborne radiometric and magnetic survey has been flown over the Air Massif under European Aid funding and covers much of Aura's northern application area.
Aura Energy Limited
19-23 Prospect Street
Box Hill, VIC
+61 3 9890 1744
Fax: +61 3 9890 3411
The General Overview, Services, Products and Projects information for this profile was last edited on 04 Feb 2016.