Tournigan Energy Ltd. (TVC: TSX-V; TGP: Frankfurt) has received a Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS”) on its flagship Kuriskova high-grade uranium deposit located in Slovakia from its independent consultant, Tetra Tech, Inc. (Tt), in Golden, Colorado. Highlights of the PFS for Kuriskova:
- Internal Rate of Return 30.8%; 1.9 year payback; $277 million Net Present Value (NPV) at an 8% discount rate (Pre-Tax, base case US$68/lb U3O8, US$15/lb Mo);
- 94% increase of Indicated Resource to 28.5 million pounds of U3O8 since Tournigan’s June 2009 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”);
- 92% uranium recovery in PFS, increased from 90% in the PEA;
- 62% increase in the uranium grade to the process plant to 0.408% U3O8 in the PFS from 0.252% U3O8 in PEA;
- 26% lower life of mine operating costs in the PFS compared to the PEA. The PFS estimates US$22.98/lb U3O8 life of mine operating costs and US$16.68/lb U3O8 during the first 4 years of production. These are net of a molybdenum credit of about US$1.27 per pound of U3O8;
- 1.5 year decrease of preproduction construction period in PFS to 3 years compared to 4.5 years in the PEA;
- The project can be developed as an underground mine/processing facility with a very small surface footprint;
- Kuriskova would utilize Best Available Technologies in the mining and processing operations. The uranium can be extracted using conventional alkaline (non-acid) processing; and
- There are multiple exploration targets within the Kuriskova License area, with the potential to expand the resource base and extend project life.
“Our next step is, working with our strategic partner Areva, to begin a Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment Study that will continue to define project parameters to a higher degree of confidence and allow the permitting of the project to begin. The development of the Kuriskova uranium project could provide Slovakia with a secure source of uranium for approximately 30 years at its current consumption rate,” said Nicol.Mineral Reserves and Resource Estimate The PFS resource estimate is based on the report, “Mineral Resource Update Kuriskova Uranium Project East-Central Slovakia” prepared by Tetra Tech, Inc. dated June 9, 2011 (the Independent Qualified Person for this report was Dr. Rex Bryan of Tetra Tech) as summarized in the following table:
|Kuriskova Resource Estimate April 2011 -- Cutoff 0.05%U *|
|U%||Tonnes(000)||%U3O8||U3O8 lbs(000)||Mo%||Tonnes(000)||Mo lbs(000)|
|Total Indicated (Main Zone, Hanging wall zoneand Zone 45 )||0.471||2,328||0.555||28,487||.065||2,301||3,312|
|Total Inferred (Main Zone, Hanging wall zoneand Zone 45 )||0.157||3,099||0.185||12,664||.033||2,996||2,185|
Based on estimated Indicated Resources, mineral reserves (including dilution tonnage of 5% at a grade of 0.03% U) were estimated at 2.5 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.346%U which was determined to provide an underground mining rate of about 210,000 ore tonnes per year at an economic cutoff of 0.13% U 3O 8 for approximately 13 years. No Inferred resources were used in reserve calculation or mine plan.Resource Expansion Potential Tournigan is planning an exploration program to continue testing multiple uranium exploration targets within the Kuriskova license area. Exploration success would likely add resources that could be accessed from the planned Kuriskova infrastructure. Tournigan will conduct further step-out exploration drilling where the high-grade mineralization is open along strike and at depth. Mining and production The PFS states that the project would be best developed as an underground mine using conventional mining and processing methods. The mine plan is based on underhand drift and fill mining utilizing a roadheader as the primary production method and assuming an external dilution (over break) of 5% at a grade of 0.03% U. The project would be designed with an underground processing facility. As a result of the mining and processing facilities being underground, the project can be developed with a very small surface footprint. The uranium can be extracted using conventional alkaline (non-acid) processing. Kuriskova would utilize Best Available Technologies in the mining and processing operations. Metallurgical test results completed at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado indicate that uranium and molybdenum recoveries can be achieved using conventional alkaline leaching and precipitation circuits producing separate uranium (yellowcake) and molybdenum concentrates. The average annual production of uranium as a U 3O 8 concentrate would be approximately 786 tonnes and 84 tonnes of molybdenum in molybdenite with a life-of-mine U 3O 8 production of 20.9 million pounds (9,500 tonnes). Project economics in the base case analysis are based on these figures. Metallurgy and Processing Metallurgical test results completed at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado indicate that uranium and molybdenum recoveries of 92.0% and 86.8%, respectively, can be achieved using conventional alkaline leaching and precipitation circuits producing separate uranium (yellowcake) and molybdenum concentrates.
Financial AnalysisThe base case uses forward prices of US$68/lb U 3O 8 and US$15/lb Mo respectively. Initial capital costs are US$225 million (including owner’s costs and a contingency of US$31 million). During the life of mine there will be sustaining capital requirements of about US$71 million. Total operating costs are estimated to be US$22.98 per pound of U 3O 8 over the mine life. During the first 4 years of production, total operating costs are estimated at US$16.68 per pound of U 3O 8. These costs are net of a byproduct credit for molybdenum of about US$1.27 per pound of U 3O 8. In addition to adding value to the Kuriskova project, molybdenum has been defined as a Class 2 strategic metal by the European Union. Royalties payable to the government in this base case will add about US$2.89 per pound of U 3O 8. The base case internal rate of return is estimated at 30.8% on a pre-tax basis with a 1.9 year payback after the start of production on an estimated initial capital cost of US$225 million including owner’s costs and a contingency of US$31 million. At an 8% discount rate, the pre-tax NPV is estimated at US$277 million. The project is financially sensitive to U 3O 8 price and amount of uranium produced per year. This is directly related to the tonnage and grade mined and processed annually as well as to plant recovery. The following tables illustrate the sensitivity of the project to changes in U 3O 8 price and discount rate used in the NPV calculation:
|Uranium (U3O8) Price Sensitivity|
|Economic Parameter||-10%||Base Case||+10%|
|Discount Rate Sensitivity|
|NPV 0%||NPV 5%||NPV 8% Base Case||NPV 10%|
|All dollar values are in US$ millions.|
Qualified PersonThis release has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Rex Bryan and Dr. Richard W. Jolk, P.E. of Tetra Tech of Golden, Colorado both independent Qualified Persons as defined in NI 43-101. This release has also been reviewed and approved for Tournigan by Dorian L. Nicol, President and CEO of Tournigan, and a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. About Tournigan Tournigan is a uranium exploration and development company. The company’s flagship asset is the Kuriskova uranium deposit in Slovakia, among the highest grade uranium deposits in the world. Slovakia currently has four nuclear reactors generating half of its electricity, with two more reactors planned or under construction. With the anticipated acquisition of uranium properties from Mawson Resources Ltd., Tournigan is diversifying geographically by acquiring projects in Sweden and Finland, also members of the European Union and countries which rely on nuclear generated electricity. In Sweden, ten nuclear reactors generate over 40% of the country’s electricity. Finland currently has four operating reactors generating about 28% of the country’s electricity. A fifth large nuclear plant is under construction in Finland with plans firming for a sixth. Tournigan is committed to safe and sustainable exploration and mine development. TOURNIGAN ENERGY LTD. "Dusty Nicol" Dorian L. (Dusty) Nicol, President and CEO For further information please contact: Doris Meyer, at (604) 536-2711, or visit www.tournigan.com. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Cautionary Statement: This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the Corporation's current expectations and estimates. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "suggest", "indicate" and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results implied or expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans to continue to be refined; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing; and fluctuations in metal prices. There may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Corporation disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
Notice to US investors:This press release uses the terms "indicated resources" and "inferred resources", which are calculated in accordance with the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Classification system. We advise investors that while those terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission do not recognize them. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. In addition, "Inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in certain exceptional cases. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally minable.