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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: August 30th 2006


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:: Paladin Commissions Namibian Uranium Plant Ahead of Plan

Australian uranium-focused miner Paladin has commissioned its Langer Heinrich uranium plant, in Namibia, a month earlier than planned, the company said on Monday.

MD John Borshoff reported that the crusher and associated conveyors to produce a crushed-ore stockpile had been commissioned.

"Staged commissioning will now progressively continue through the scrubber and attrition, leach and CCD, the uranium precipitation and reagent areas."

The original construction schedule stated that the plant would be started up on September 22 and that GRD Minproc, the engineering, procurement, construction and management contractors, would hand over the project late December.

The $92-million Langer Heinrich uranium project, located some 80 km east of the major deep water seaport at Walvis Bay and the coastal town of Swakopmund, is expected to produce 2,6-million pounds U3O8 a year over the next 17 years. The initial ramp up of the annualised design was planned for the first quarter of next year and Borshoff added that the first contracted uranium-oxide concentrate would be shipped late in the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, Paladin also reported that initial mining had started at Langer Heinrich.

Borshoff said that the contract miner had been established on site and that it had started mining the initial pit undertaking topsoil removal and supplying feed for the crusher commissioning. Some mine infrastructure had also been established.

Paladin was also confident that the project's completion date would not be influenced by enhancements, which had impacted the construction schedule. Optimisation of the bankable feasibility study alkaline leach process and subsequent positive confirmatory work by the international Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation's metallurgical laboratories had resulted in several upgrades in the uranium precipitation and reagent areas.




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