Australian mining company A-Cap Resources revealed in its 2013 Annual report on Friday that they intend to open a first ever uranium mine in Botswana within the next five years.
The company said in the report that project construction is estimated at around 309 million U.S. dollars. The resource of estimated 350 million pounds at Letlhakane, north east of Botswana currently ranks amongst the top 10 largest undeveloped uranium deposits in the world.
A-Cap said that a scoping study has indicated the potential for a mine life in excess of 20 years, producing about 3 million pounds per annum.
"The project has the distinctive advantage of having the entire major infrastructure already in place. A recent scoping study completed during the March 2013 quarter shows that the Letlhakane is likely the only major undeveloped uranium project in the world capable of being in production in the next five years at a capital cost of 309 million dollars with competitive operating costs," said the report.
It further said that a startup date in 2017 coincides with projected shortfalls in supply and forecast increased uranium prices.
If the mine opens in 2017, it will become the first uranium mine for diamond rich southern African country.
Botswana currently has seven diamond mines, four copper mines and a single gold and coal mines.
The uranium mine was initially supposed to be developed by 2013 but the current sluggish uranium market along with other commodities has seen the mine development being pushed back.
Spot uranium prices have fallen from as high as 60 dollars per pound two years ago to about 35 dollars per pound.
"It is clear that no new uranium projects globally are likely to be economically developed at the current spot uranium price, including Letlhakane. However it is also clear that given the medium and long term demand for uranium stimulated by construction of new nuclear capacity, the uranium prices will recover," the report concluded.