Australian firm A-Cap Resources, which has been developing uranium resources in Botswana, has applied for a licence to open what would be Botswana’s first uranium mine with a capital expenditure of $351m. The company said results of technical studies showed the project would produce up to 3.75m pounds of the ore in the first five years of its projected 18-year life.

Botswana is estimated to hold around 1.04bn tonnes in uranium reserves and the government has issued prospecting licenses in the last decade although no production has taken place. A-Cap said its Letlhakane project was ideally located near roads, a railway network and power supply, and was also on the site of one of the largest uranium deposits in the Africa, with estimated deposits of 261m pounds.

According to the Botswana Resource Sector overview of 2013/14, A-Cap Resources, upgraded its uranium resource at its Letlhakane site, one of the largest undeveloped uranium deposits in the world, in anticipation of a rise in uranium prices. The company has completed an advanced scoping study, with a pre-feasibility study finalised in December 2013 followed by a bankable feasibility study to be completed by December 2014.

In December 2007 A-Cap Resources produced Botswana’s first ever uranium resource at its Letlhakane project site. In late 2009, a new surface, secondary mineralisation was discovered at Letlhakane. This was a high grade ore, relatively close to the surface.