(Alliance News) - Neo Energy Metals PLC on Monday said it appointed a company to compile an updated order of magnitude capital and operating expenditure estimate for its Henkries uranium project in South Africa.

The near term, low-cost uranium developer said it hired Pretoria-based Erudite Strategies to conduct this, which involves updating the financial evaluation report for the project originally produced by Anglo American PLC in 1979.

Neo Energy described Erudite as a "leading provider of engineering, procurement, and construction management solutions with an international blue-chip mining client list".

It continued: "Erudite was selected based on its uncompromising commitment to safety and its ability to design both a fit for purpose and environmentally sustainable project solution. During the selection process, Erudite demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the company's needs for a fast-track and modular approach to Henkries with the ability for flexibility in the possible execution strategies."

The project, which Neo Energy said will take around four weeks, will incorporate the development of a capital cost estimate and budgetary quotes for any long-lead equipment, which, in-turn, will include a preliminary cost estimate and delivery schedule.

"While Anglo American moth-balled the project in the late 1970s following a downturn in demand for uranium, the landscape for uranium has changed greatly with the market witnessing a significant resurgence fuelled by the growing recognition of nuclear's role in carbon emission reduction," said Neo Energy Chief Executive Officer Sean Heathcote.

"This positions Henkries as one of the few projects globally poised to commence production in the near term. Accordingly, we look forward to incorporating the updated estimates provided by Erudite into our financial models within an updated feasibility study ahead of paving the way for strategic development.

"The insights and expertise provided by Erudite will be essential in enhancing the understanding and assessment of the project's capital expenditure and operational expenses. This strategic move reflects Neo Energy's commitment to thorough and accurate financial planning for Henkries."

Shares in Neo Energy were down 0.4% to 0.57 pence each in London on Monday afternoon.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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