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Aura Energy Advances Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania

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(Ecofin Agency) – The Tiris project can deliver 30 million pounds of uranium over 16 years, according to a 2024 study. With production set to commence in 2026, the project should make Mauritania West Africa’s second-largest uranium producer.

Aura Energy announced on June 3 the commencement of a financing process to develop the Tiris uranium project in Mauritania. The Australian mining company hired Orimco and Macquarie Capital to raise funds through debt and identify potential strategic investors, respectively. 

Orimco will structure a financial arrangement to mitigate project development risks while optimizing equity capital needs. Macquarie will explore solutions to attract partners capable of funding the project’s development.

While no further detail was given regarding the partnership’s format, typically, the investor should take a direct stake in the project and/or can purchase all or part of the mine’s future production.

“The appointment of Orimco as debt advisor and the exploration of strategic investment options by Macquarie are crucial steps in advancing Tiris as we work towards a final investment decision by the end of 2024,” said Andrew Grove, CEO of Aura Energy.

If the final investment decision is made this year, the Tiris uranium mine is expected to commence production in 2026. This would make Mauritania the second-largest uranium producer in West Africa, behind Niger.

According to the 2024 study, the initial investment required to develop Tiris amounts to $230 million, for a total production of 30.1 million pounds of uranium over 17 years. At $80 per pound, the mine’s revenues are estimated at $2.25 billion over the period.

Uranium prices have been on the rise in global markets in recent months, amid increased demand due to renewed interest in nuclear energy. These prospects offer Mauritania the opportunity to increase its mining revenues and diversify its sources, which are currently dominated by gold and iron ore mining. In 2022, gold made up 70% of the country’s exports and 24% of its GDP.

Emiliano Tossou

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