After last August's refreshed definitive feasibility study, the company renewed its focus on the base metal potential, which it guesses can deliver a US$4-4.5 per pound uranium by-product credit over the life of the mine.
The 2020 DFS confirmed a simple, low-cost uranium mining process delivering robust financials, but was focused on uranium, however cognisant of recoveries in base metal pricing have prompted it to spend more time considering the potential for recovering copper, zinc, nickel, and cobalt as mixed sulphide by-products from the tailings of the uranium plant.
The base metal plant could add around A$52 million to the development costs, based on the 2015 prefeasibility study.
Work suggests materially improved economics during the first eight years of production when the Ambassador deposit is being mined.
Base metals are also known to exist in the Princess deposit.
The review showed copper recoveries of 48% for 4735 tonnes, zinc recoveries of 77% for 20,348t, and nickel and cobalt recoveries of 32.5% for 4896t and 2490t respectively, however two geotechnical pits at Ambassador showed material under-calling of uranium and base metals at the time.
Vimy increased its uranium resource in 2017 as a result, but pricing at the time meant the base metal resource estimates were not recalculated.
The junior will now review that work, while refining the process flow sheet to improve economics further.
A full assessment of the base metals plant will be completed this year.
Managing director Mike Young said the potential of the base metals circuit had shifted from being marginal to being a nice boost to the "world-class uranium project", while creating more funding options as the company continues to pursue its dream of building a mine at Mulga Rock to feed the global nuclear sector.
Shares in the junior have traded between 1.9-9.4c over the past year, with the stock steady at 8.8c, capitalising the company at $68.5 million.