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Noronex bolsters Namibian portfolio with uranium play

Updated: Apr 16

Noronex is stepping out into uranium exploration in Namibia to complement its search for copper. Credit: File

Noronex (ASX: NRX) has picked up 7000 hectares of ground in the heart of Namibia’s uranium belt, right next door to Bannerman Energy’s Etango project that boasts a bulging 207 million pounds of contained uranium oxide.

After securing the new deal with a private Namibian owner, the company will now conduct due diligence on its new turf to acquire up to an 80 per cent interest to bolster its copper portfolio, which management says remains its focus.

Interestingly, Noronex says the style of hard rock mineralisation within its new ground, named “EPL 6776”, is similar to that seen at Etango and other deposits along strike known as Rossing and Husab. Historic trenching in the area shows Alaskite mineralisation that is interpreted to continue into the company’s new ground and which may be associated with a significant domal feature.

During a 120-day exclusivity period, Noronex also expects to complete an “Artificial Intelligence Study”, where it will consider all available geology, geophysics, satellite imagery and geochemistry data. Following the groundwork, the company plans to high-grade some of its targets and put down drill holes in the area in a bid to ground-truth what may lie beneath.

The addition of a claim with significant uranium prospectivity just 3kms north of Bannerman Resource’s Etango project adds to our large existing copper portfolio and provides the company with exposure to two of the key commodities (uranium and copper) as the world rapidly progresses towards a green energy future. Noronex’s in-country expertise in Namibia as well as its strong relationships with regulators, service providers and key vendors has positioned it well to execute on this Uranium opportunity, which we see as highly complementary to our exciting copper projects on the Kalahari Copper Belt.
Noronex executive director James Thompson

The company is now in the right postcode to be able to find its own uranium payload.

Under the terms of its two-stage agreement, Noronex will pay $81,000 for the 120-day exclusivity period and at then another $61,000 in cash and $61,000 worth of Noronex shares to continue earning in. To earn a 51 per cent interest, the company has the option to pay another $61,000 in cash and $61,000 in shares by February 2026.

By August 2027, to earn an additional 29 per cent interest, Noronex has the option to pay another $162,000 in cash and the same amount in shares. At that stage, Noronex and the local Namibian owner, who will be free-carried to that point, may choose to enter into a joint venture (JV) to mature a project.

As well as Bannerman’s Etango project, which is just 3km to the south along strike, EPL 6776 is also along strike and a stone’s throw from Rossing and Husab, which are both impressive uranium deposits in their own right.

The largely Chinese-held, privately-owned Husab mine, which is exploiting the Rossing South deposit, was discovered back in 2008 and features plans to mine 15 million tonnes of ore per year from two separate open pits to feed a processing plant designed to produce 6000 tonnes of uranium oxide annually.

The main Rossing mine is one of the world’s longest-running and biggest open pit uranium mines and had an original mineral reserve of about 200,000 tonnes of uranium oxide at an average grade of 0.35 to 0.4kg per tonne.

The acquisition of uranium-prospective ground is a key tactical decision by Noronex, which already holds a commanding copper resource at its Witvlei project in the Kalahari copper belt in Namibia – with 10-million-tonnes grading 1.3 per cent.

Both copper and uranium are viewed widely as critical components for the global decarbonisation effort, with production from world uranium mines in recent years suppling 90 per cent of the requirements of power utilities. The United States, China and France represent 58 per cent of the globe’s uranium demand.

Namibia is the world’s fourth-biggest producer of uranium and is responsible for about 6 per cent of global uranium output. In the past 45 years, the Erongo Region has produced more than 350 million pounds of uranium oxide – a number Noronex is clearly looking to build on.

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