Berkeley Resources Limited ('Berkeley' or 'the Company') is a uranium exploration and development company with a quality resource base in Spain. The Company has a 100% interest in a total Mineral Resource estimated at 88.2 million pounds of contained U3O8 with an average grade of 470 ppm (at a cut-off grade of 200 ppm U3O8). Berkeley is dual listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ('ASX') and Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange ('AIM').
The Company is currently focused on advancing its wholly owned flagship Salamanca Project, which comprises the Retortillo, Alameda, Zona 7 and Gambuta Deposits plus a number of other Satellite Deposits, through the development phase.
The results of a Pre-Feasibility Study completed in September 2013 confirmed the technical and economic viability of the Salamanca Project and its potential to support a significant scale, long life, low cost uranium operation.
Using only the Mineral Resource Estimates for Retortillo and Alameda, which total 34.5 million pounds U3O8 as a base case scenario, the Salamanca Project can support an average annual production of 3.3 million pounds of U3O8 during the seven years of steady state operation and 2.7 million pounds of U3O8 over a minimum eleven year mine life. There is strong potential to increase the production profile and/or mine life through the integration of additional resources at Zona 7 and Gambuta, and with ongoing exploration work.
The Project has now been advanced to the Definitive Feasibility Study ('DFS') stage and a number of work programs providing key inputs to the DFS, including resource drilling, metallurgical testwork and hydrogeological studies are underway.
Zona 7 is located within 10 kilometres of the proposed centralised processing plant at Retortillo, and is the first of the Satellite Deposits that Berkeley has targeted for exploration drilling. Following successful drilling campaigns in 2013 and 2014, an updated Mineral Resource Estimate of 30.1 million pounds U3O8 (previously 3.6 Mlbs) was reported in November 2014. Given the significant scale, high grade and shallow depth of the Zona 7 deposit, the Company has advanced its evaluation to the Scoping Study stage to determine the optimum integration of Zona 7 with the development of Retortillo and Alameda.
The permitting process for the Salamanca Project has been progressed in parallel with the technical studies. Major permitting milestones have been achieved with the granting of the Environmental and Mining Licences for Retortillo (the first resource from which production is scheduled to commence) in October 2013 and April 2014 respectively.
Berkeley is focused on pursuing the ongoing exploration, appraisal and development of this outstanding uranium project in order to fulfil its vision of becoming a uranium producer in the near to medium term.
Spain offers an environment conducive to Berkeley's activities, with no prohibitions on uranium mining, good mining infrastructure, skills and power, a reliable legal and mining title jurisdiction and a local energy market which is 21% nuclear dependent (World Nuclear Association, October 2014).