Toro (ASX:TOE) expands West Australian uranium-vanadium

Toro (ASX:TOE) expands West Australian uranium-vanadium

March 7, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Toro Energy has lowered its cut-off grades and marked a hefty expansion to uranium and vanadium resources at the Lake Way and Centipede-Millipede deposits within its flagship Wiluna project near the namesake Western Australian township.

Fast-rising market conditions led Toro Energy to halving its previous 200 parts per million triuranium octoxide cut-off, and it is now the bearer of over 44 million pounds across two deposits at a grade already used by many of its industry peers.

The move effectively expands the uranium and vanadium resources at Centipede-Millipede by 25 and 17 per cent and Lake Way’s by 15% and 19.5% respectively.

Toro Energy Executive Chairman Richard Homsany the company’s commitment to fast-track Wiluna Uranium Project towards production among the backdrop of a rapidly strengthening uranium market had continued to unlock considerable value.

“The stated resource expansion and ongoing pilot plant work are important pillars of our refreshed feasibility study and will further demonstrate the significant returns on offer at Wiluna,” Homsany said.

“It is becoming more evident that the environmental permits at Wiluna require augmentation to cater for the paradigm shift in the potential economics and enhanced environmental values of the project that have resulted from our vastly improved metallurgical flowsheet.”

Homsany added that as a product of focused and cost-effective work, the project’s potential feasibility had been transformational and had grown in value through Toro’s research and development efforts.

He said the project in central WA remained on track to align alongside a potential shift in the state’s uranium policy.

Homsany noted the deposits 30 kilometres out of the town of Wiluna could be developed at a single processing operation or via multiple ones run simultaneously.

“A potential stand-alone Lake Maitland operation presently differs from the permitted greater Wiluna Uranium Project in that it contemplates a different processing flow sheet with major changes to the processing plant and reagent volumes, and a simpler more conventional mining method,” he said.

Toro’s chairman highlighted the company was now aiming to identify the most financially feasible development, with its approach being to seek any revision to the regulatory conditions it was permitted to operate in.

Wiluna’s Lake Maitland deposit will be re-estimated at the new cut-off before Toro recalculates its total Wiluna resources.

WA uranium

Western Australia’s Labor Government slapped a moratorium on developing new uranium projects when it came into power in 2017, with Toro holding one of the four projects that had already received ministerial approval to proceed.

Toro’s timeline to demonstrate a substantial commencement for site plans elapsed, but the rapidly changing market conditions have spurred a rethink in the sandgroper state.

The Minerals Council of Australia has pushed to lift the ban, with its Chief Executive Tania Constable saying that keeping WA’s vast deposits under lock and key was a risk to both the state’s economy and out of step with a global march towards net zero emissions.

MCA-driven polling found 49% of Western Australians supported local uranium mining and just 16% opposed it, with a slight 51% majority of Labor voters among the 866 surveyed supporting the cause.

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