The mineral concentrate was recorded from mine and concentrator study that also identified 6,180t per annum zinc and 8,865t per annum fluorspar byproducts.

It noted the rare earth element-uranium mineral concentrate containing 14% total rare earth oxides and 0.24% uranium mineral, which will be treated in a dedicated refinery to produce 23,000t per annum of high purity mixed rare earth hydroxide, and 1.1 million pounds of uranium mineral.

Also, the company outlined strategies to increase the current mine-throughput of 3 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 6mtpa upon expansion.

Meanwhile, the new findings have lowered the overall start-up costs to $810m.

It comprises anticipated cost of $450m for mine and concentrator capable of treating 3mtpa, while the refinery to produce marketable rare earth elements and uranium products is estimated at $360m.

The unit costs of production are reportedly less than $6.40 per kilogram TREO (after by-product credits), which is expected to drop further to less than $4.90 per kilogram TREO after the mine expansion.

With this, Kvanefjeld project will be one of the lowest cost uranium producers among projects that are being considered for development in the next five to 10 years, claims the company.