Toro Energy streamlines Wiluna costs and says farewell to MD Vanessa Guthrie

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Toro Energy (ASX: TOE) completed Beneficiation and Process Design studies for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Wiluna uranium project in Western Australia.

Toro Energy said the studies highlighted the opportunity to reduce the size and cost of the processing facility with the key outcome being a re-design of the process flow sheet reducing the capital cost of the proposed hydrometallurgical plant by more than 40 per cent to approximately $78 million and processing operating cost to approximately $16 per tonne run-of-mine feed.

Toro carried out beneficiation testwork on seven samples selected from the Centipede/Millipede and Lake Maitland deposits and a new process flow sheet was developed based on the higher clay lithologies from Lake Maitland.

The company explained that approximately 55 per cent of the Mineral Resources at Centipede/Millipede and Lake Maitland and 75 per cent to 80 per cent at Lake Maitland are clay dominant.

“The success of the Studies is based on the improved understanding of the different lithologies and uranium associations of the Wiluna deposits, and the novel application of conventional technologies to the processing flow sheet,” Toro Energy said in its ASX announcement.

“Beneficiation not only delivered an upgraded uranium concentrate to the leach circuit but also provided the opportunity to investigate filtration and wash cycles prior to the leaching stage.

“The result is a more efficient hydrometallurgical circuit with potentially significant improvements to capital and operating costs.”

Toro Energy also announced, after five years with the company including nearly four as managing director and CEO, Dr Vanessa Guthrie will be leaving.

Under Dr Guthrie’s leadership, Toro has advanced its flagship Wiluna uranium project.

The Centipede and Lake Way deposits were the first Western Australian uranium deposits to secure state and federal government environmental approvals and agreement with the Traditional Owners, the Wiluna People.

The environmental assessment process for two further deposits, Millipede and Lake Maitland, is well advanced.

Guthrie has also overseen substantial technical improvements to the Wiluna project, including an increase in resources and the recent efficiency breakthrough in the processing flow sheet with the potential to improve the project cost structure.