Innovative project to extract two products simultaneously


Reported by Jaycee Kruger in Johannesburg

4 September 2013 – Johannesburg, South Africa – South African company, HolGoun, posesses a large uranium resource covering around 56,862 hectares in the Limpopo Province, 100 kilometres north of Gauteng, the industrial heartland of South Africa. Of particular interest is the intended double usage of the resource available. Not only will it produce U308 uranium, but also another very scarce commodity in South Africa: Electrical Power.

130904-pmwj15-project-with-IMAGE1 300X179The pre-feasibility study phase of this project is undertaken by Holgoun directly, utilising outsourced specialists. The Springbok Flats orebody has been studied for the last six years in conjunction with the State-owned minerals research enterprise, Mintek, to find ways of separating the uranium, originally thought to be in the coal, from what turns out to be its real host – a shale layer above the coal, say Holgoun CEO, Mr. Sivi Gounden.

130904-pmwj15-project-with-IMAGE2 120X133In essence the uranium will be liberated by combusting the shale layer and then extracting the uranium form the resulting ash. During this process substantial steam will be generated, which will be utilised to drive a 660MW power plant.

The power plant alone can produce at around $0.032c/kWh, making it highly competitive even as a standalone project without the uranium credits. A small pilot demonstration plant is likely once the project proceeds into the bankable feasibility study stage.

The first priority will be to get the power project up and running and to liberate the uranium from stockpiles at a future stage.

The project has the support of both the South African Department of Energy and the Department of Mineral Resources.

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