The Tumas uranium project is being developed 80km from the Seaport of Walvis Bay, Namibia. (Credit: Ikiwaner/ Wikimedia Commons)Namibia
The Tumas project is estimated to contain 88.4 Mt of probable mineral reserves grading 345 ppm of Natural Uranium Ore Concentrate (U₃O₈) for a total of 67.3 mlb in contained U₃O₈. (Credit: WikiImages/Pixabay)
Uranium mineralisation in calcrete-type deposits occurs as carnotite. (Credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission/ Energy Fuels Inc.)

The Tumas project is the development of palaeochannel /calcrete-type uranium deposits located in Namibia.

The project comprises Tumas 1, Tumas 2, Tumas 3, Tumas 1 East and Tubas Red Sand/Calcrete orebodies.

It is owned and managed by Reptile Mineral Resources and Exploration (RMR), a fully owned subsidiary of Australia-based company Deep Yellow.

The company announced positive results from an initial Scoping Study in January 2020. A Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on Tumas project was completed in February 2021.

Deep Yellow released the results of the Tumas Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in February 2023. The initial capital cost for the project is estimated to be approximately $372m.

The Final Investment Decision (FID) on the project would be made in first half of 2024, with production expected to ramp up in fourth quarter of 2025.

The Life of Mine (LOM) of the Tumas project was estimated to be 22.25 years. However, additional resources discovered at the property increased LOM to more than 30 years.

Background Details

In 2005, Reptile Mineral Resources and Exploration (RMR) acquired Reptile Investment Four, which was renamed Reptile Uranium Namibia (RUN) in 2006.

RUN acquired tenure of the Tumas project under EPL3496 and 3497 in 2006.

Deep Yellow, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Deep Yellow Namibia, acquired RMR in 2008.

The mining licence for the Tumas project was issued by Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy in December 2023.

Tumas Uranium Reserves

The Tumas project is estimated to contain 88.4 million tonnes (Mt) of probable mineral reserves grading 345 parts per million (ppm) Natural Uranium Ore Concentrate (U₃O₈) for a total of 67.3 million pounds (mlb) in contained U₃O₈.

Geology and Mineralisation

The project comprises a series of palaeochannel/calcrete-type uranium deposits totalling 132.9Mlb U308.

Uranium mineralisation in palaeochannel/calcrete-type deposits occur as carnotite, hosted by Tertiary and Quaternary fluvial sediments occupying narrow and steep-sided palaeochannels.

The host rocks vary from hard, carbonate-cemented sandstones and conglomerates to poorly consolidated and friable sands.

Tumas Uranium Project Mining

The project will be mined by conventional shallow open-cut truck and shovel operation using contract mining. The open pits will be developed using single-staged designs using three-metre-high flitches.

Mining is planned to commence with the Tumas 3 southeast pits, progressing to the Tumas 3 western stages and ending at the Tumas 1 and Tumas 1 East stages with the total mining schedule taking place within 21.25 years, including the four quarters of pre-production.

The tailings will be stored in mined-out areas to rehabilitate the open pits back to the original landform.

Tumas Uranium Ore Processing

The Tumas processing plant is designed to treat 4.15 Mt/y of carbonate ore containing carnotite (K2(UO2)2(VO4)2.3H2O) as the uranium-bearing mineral from an open pit mine to produce 3.6 Mlb/y uranium yellow cake (U3O8) product and 1.18 Mlb/y vanadium (VOSO4) by-product over a 30-year mine life.

The processing plant will include beneficiation followed by leaching, solid-liquid separation, pregnant leach solution (PLS) concentration, vanadium recovery, uranium recovery, uranium barren liquor (UBL) treatment, tailings disposal, reagent make-up and distribution and water and air services.


The project includes the construction of a 13.5 km site access road, a 45.1km 132 kV powerline and a 65km water supply pipeline.

The project will be connected to the Namibian regional grid via a new dedicated 45.1km 132 kV power line from the existing Kuiseb substation. The incoming power will be stepped down to 11 kV at the main Tumas substation and transferred to the two main switchboards in the process plant.

The company plans to build a 20 megawatt (MW) solar farm to reduce the requirement for grid power and lower CO2 emissions by an estimated 850,000t over the life of the mine.

The solar farm will be located to the east of the process plant in an area of approximately 45 hectares (ha).

Freshwater required for the project operations will be supplied from the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) managed Swakopmund Reservoir via a 2.4 GL/y 65km pipeline parallel to the C28 highway.

Contractors Involved

Ausenco Services was contracted to prepare the Tumas DFS Executive Summary report.

Cube Consulting was engaged to undertake the Tumas Ore Reserve Update.