From Goldfields to Yellowfields

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"Increase in uranium demand now makes these deposits a viable option."

While uranium exploration has been present in the Eastern Goldfields for the last four decades, an actual uranium industry has never been established in the region—until now.

Several companies, including Toro Energy, Mega Uranium Ltd. (TSX:MGA), BHP Billiton and Cameco, are setting out to change this.

Toro managing director Greg Hall told Australian Mining the total uranium content in the Goldfields is quite significant.

"The Goldfields area has had a lot of uranium exploration dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, and a number of uranium deposits were found," he said.

"The Yeelirie and Kintyre deposits were the most substantial finds, but there was also a range of variable sized deposits found.

"Some of these, like Yeelirie, are hosting secondary deposits, which generally require an alkaline leach rather than an acid leach.

"This puts them in the higher cost category, which is one of the reasons they were never developed back in the 1980s when the uranium price was quite low."

Hall said the increase in demand for uranium had now made these deposits a viable option.

"The uranium price has firmed up and the long-term demand curve is looking quite good," he said.

"Many companies, including our own, are investigating these historical deposits and seeing if there are any extensions.

"We are looking at the economics of the deposits to see how they could be brought into production."

According to Hall, the Western Australian Government is very supportive of start-up uranium mining.

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