Toro Energy moves closer to opening WA’s first uranium mine

Wiluna uranium project
Wiluna uranium project. Image credit: Aaron Booth, flickr

Toro Energy has received native title consent from the Wiluna People regarding the Wiluna Uranium Project in central Western Australia.

The signed traditional owner mining agreement is a result of more than seven years of relationship building between Toro and the Wiluna People. The agreement will enable Toro to develop the Wiluna Project and ensure the local Aboriginal people are able to participate in the economic benefits that the mine will bring to the local community.

The project consists of six calcrete hosted uranium deposits, of which two have received government approval for mining, providing for an opportunity to become Western Australia’s first uranium mine.

Toro is currently exploring beneficiation as a way to optimise the processing facility.

Early results are positive, with an 80 per cent rejection of the mass with just 10 per cent loss of uranium, demonstrating the potential for beneficiation to transform the scale, design and cost of the processing circuit. Toro’s current focus is to replicate these results, allowing a redesign of the process flow sheet to be completed.

Based on this work, Toro is aiming to re-engineer the processing plant and mine plan to deliver significantly lower capital and operating costs for the project.

At the same time as these technical studies have been underway, Toro has been moving forward with environmental approvals to add the Lake Maitland and Millipede pits to the existing environmental approvals for the Wiluna Project.

The WA Environmental Protection Authority is now undertaking the assessment with a decision expected by the end of 2016.